Early Care Foundation, formerly ASHA Trust, says that it has had a meaningful journey in South Africa since 1938. It has facilitated the upskilling of women in disadvantaged communities to operate childcare facilities for children under the age of five.

As part of its mandate, the Early Care Foundation aims to reach beyond just supporting the development of stimulating early childhood learning environments. The foundation also works to help women, upskilling them and ensuring collaborative, safe environments that provide them with emotional support alongside vocational, educational opportunities.

Early Care Foundation says that, in doing so, it ensures that these women are well capacitated to afford children with the optimal mental and social development required to lay the foundations for their learning.

"A good foundation in the early years of development is crucial in providing the right building blocks to achieve productive adulthood and provide the next generation with the necessary skills to get the best start in life," says Dr Tshepo Motsepe, patron of The Early Care Foundation.

"Moreover, educated, healthy people participate in their societies' financial and social welfare. Therefore, I am delighted to support the '#NoOneLeftBehind' campaign to restore quality early childhood services, and to support rebuilding vulnerable communities," adds Motsepe.

The Early Care Foundation '#NoOneLeftOut' campaign aims to raise R4.8-million to support the reopening of existing Early Care Foundation sponsored pre-schools that were forced to shut because of the pandemic. It also aims to get 1 000 children back into a stimulating learning environment, providing a roadmap for women back into employment.

Individuals and corporates can sponsor an individual child for a month at R400 or a full year at R4 800. There is also the option to sponsor a teacher's salary at R4 000 a month. ECF believes that capacitating schools to offer a high-quality education is vital for getting the sector functional again.

"The last eighteen months have been extremely challenging for the women and children we support through our training programmes," says Ipeleng Mohlala, CEO of Early Care Foundation.

"Unfortunately, many have not reopened their schools because of the economic impacts of the pandemic and its mitigation measures. This has further limited children's access to supportive environments for this critical phase of brain development and the nutrition needed to support learning potential," adds Mohlala.

"The Early Care Foundation is committed to enabling many facilities to recover and encourage the children to return to the environments in which they thrive. To rebuild South Africa, we need to prepare the children of South Africa better," concludes Mohlala.

For more information, visit www.earlycarefoundation.org. You can also follow the Early Care Foundation on Facebook or on Instagram