What we do at AmazingBrainz
Whole Child Development refers to an approach to pre-school stimulation and development of children that impacts individuals in a sustained, holistic manner.
We believe in a holistic approach that integrates aspects of health and social development along with education. We work with experts from various fields to provide individual inputs for each child in our programmes. The programmes were developed by a multi-disciplinary team under guidance of neuroscientist, Dr Etienne van der Walt.
Our AmazingBrainz programme has been specifically developed for the unique southern African context, particularly for marginalised communities. Programmes are also age-specific, with a carefully mapped out day-programme for each age-group from 3 months to 5 years old. The approach also aims to catch up lags in developmental milestones often found in children growing up in poor socio-economic conditions and maximises school readiness and learning capacity of children before they turn six.
In addition, educators are identified from within the community in order that they can be trained and mentored to provide interventions in children's lives in a structured and outcomes-based way. This training is accredited and ongoing mentoring monitors and evaluates their progress as well as the progress of the children.
“Investment in Early Childhood Development has been shown to yield the highest rate of return on investment in human capital development.”
Committee for Economic Development, Washington DC, 2004
The programmes essentially consist of the following elements:
Interventions in ECD centres establish a presence in the community where trust relationships with educators and parents can be built. This in turn provides a platform from which to offer social interventions to each age-group within a community according to a structured process based on accepted community development principles. The pace of intervention is determined by the community members themselves.
These interventions include an in situ alcohol and drug abuse programme and other counselling services offered in conjunction with a multi-disciplinary team that includes health professionals, local government and other community leaders.
Healthcare is an important element incorporated into all our programmes. Through a process of facilitation, we aim to bring effective primary healthcare services closer to those within marginalised communities.
These interventions support the impact of the AmazingBrainz Programmes by helping to ensure harmonious and healthy home environments for children; we believe that a holistic approach such as this provides the biggest impact in the long-term.