Service Offering

Learning programmes

Accounts & fees


When/How do I enrol my child?

If the centre you wish to enrol your child in is open and currently operating with vacancies in your child(ren)’s age group(s), you can enrol your child(ren) at any time by emailing, phoning or visiting the Earlybird Educare centre you wish to enrol your child(ren) at.

If the centre you wish to enrol your child in is currently under construction, Earlybird’s standard enrolment process is as follows:

What age group do you enrol from?

We accept children from 3-months to 5-years of age (post-maternity leave to pre-Grade R).

How do I schedule a visit?

Navigate to the page for the Educare Centre you wish to visit by clicking on the “Our Educare Centres” menu tab at the top of the Home page. Once you are on the desired Educare Centre’s page, look for the “Schedule a Visit” button and click that.

Alternatively, you can contact us via the “Connect with Us” button at the top right-hand corner of the Home page.

What if the centre I want to enrol my child at is full?

The principal will put your child’s name on the centre’s waiting list and your child will be offered a space at the centre as soon as one becomes available.

Can I reserve a space for my child at a centre before I go on maternity leave?

Yes, if there is space in the Blue Group at the educare centre of your choosing and your baby will be attending as soon as you return from leave, you may reserve a space by paying the registration fee and first months’ fees.

My child doesn’t speak English, will you enrol them?

English is the primary language of instruction and interaction at Earlybird Educare Centres but of course we operate within a multilingual society and are well-versed in the research on dual-language immersion. We welcome children from all backgrounds and will work with parents and families to determine the best way to support each child’s language acquisition and emergent literacy journey.

Do you enrol children with special needs?

We know that all children face some or other barrier or challenge in their learning and development journey at some point and that all children are much better off if they have the opportunity to be integrated into classrooms with children of different interests and abilities. That is to say, we strongly value inclusive education and work hard to ensure that the physical environment of our classrooms, the excellent training our teachers receive and our high adult-to-child ratios allow us to give each child who wishes to attend an Earlybird centre, the opportunities and support they need. We work closely with parents of children with severe barriers to learning and development at the point of enrolment and throughout each their time at Earlybird to keep them integrated into “mainstream” classroom environments for as long as feasible.

  Learning Environment and Service Offering

How many children are there in your classes?

Never more than 24 children in a single classroom. All our classrooms adhere to size and spacing regulations.

What are the adult:child ratios in your classes?

For Blue Group (3-18months) it is 1:4

For Green Group (19-34months) it is 1:6

For Yellow Group (35-50months) it is 1:8

For Red Group (51-66months) it is 1:10

What are your teachers’ qualifications?

All of our educare centre staff are qualified for the positions that they hold (with a minimum NQF-level 4 Early Childhood qualification for full-time positions) and we ensure that all team members maintain current training for First Aid (Adult, Child and Infant CPR). 

Our teachers and principals are the most important members of our team and the Earlybird central support team exists to make their lives easier and equip them to be the best they can for the children in their classrooms. We achieve this through a variety of custom systems and supports which are detailed in the section below.

What ages do you cater for?

For children aged 3-months to 5-years of age.

What are your hours?

Standard operating hours for our centres are 7am-5pm.

Can children attend for a half-day or on a part-time basis?

Children may be picked up before or after nap time (either 12:00 or 14:00) if parents do not wish for them to attend for the full-day. Principals are not authorised to offer discounts for half-day attendance.

Part-time attendance is discouraged because it tends to impact both the child and their peers negatively. Under extraneous circumstances, the principal is authorised to make temporary exceptions to this rule.

Do you close during school holidays?

Our centres close on public holidays and over the December break. They are open throughout the rest of the year.

Do you have after-care?

We do not offer after-care as our centres run a full-day programme.

Do you offer extra mural activities?

Each centre strives to offer a couple of recommended extra murals through trusted external providers. Consult the principal at your centre for detailed information.

Do you offer meals?

All of our centres offer a lunch meal. Some centres also offer breakfast and snack offerings at an additional charge. Consult the principal at your centre for detailed information.

What should my child wear to school?

Earlybird centres do not have a school uniform. Children may wear whatever clothes they are comfortable in. Upon registration, each child will be issued with one Earlybird t-shirt which they may wear on our “Same-Same Fridays” if they wish.

What should I do if my child is sick?

Sick children should stay at home to rest and receive medical treatment as soon as possible. Message or call your child’s teacher to let them know that you will not be bringing your child to school. Children with communicable diseases will not be permitted to attend school until they have fully recovered. Request a copy of Earlybird’s Health, Safety and Environment policy from the principal at your centre for further details.

What happens if my child gets sick while they are at school?

All necessary actions shall be taken by all staff to prevent the spread of communicable diseases, including sick-bay isolation. No non-emergency treatment will be provided without prior consent. The centre staff will contact you (and/or other contacts listed) to inform you of the child’s symptoms and request that you collect the child as soon as possible.

  Learning Programme

What curriculum do you use?

Our customized learning programme (Bird Seed)  is aligned with the National Curriculum Framework produced by the Department of Social Development. It follows most closely the social constructivist approach of the HighScope curriculum.

How will I know my child is prepared for primary school after attending an Earlybird Educare Centre?

Earlybird conducts regular formative assessments throughout our age groups to determine how best to support each child’s individual learning and development progress. In our pre-Grade R classes (“Red Group”), we also use the ELOM nationally normed Early Learnings Outcome Measure to benchmark our programme’s performance as a whole.

 Accounts and Fees

What are your school fees?

Our fees vary slightly from site-to-site (largely driven by variations in occupation costs). You can view the fee schedule for any of our Educare Centres by navigating to the “Our Educare Centres” tab in the menu bar at the top of the Home page and clicking on the centre you are interested in.

How are fees paid?

Our centres do not accept cash payments. Fees may be paid via EFT, debit order, or recurring card payment through our online secure gateway. All fees are due monthly or quarterly in advance.

Do I get a discount if I pay quarterly or annually in advance?

Yes. We offer a 2.5% discount for quarterly payments and a 5% discount for annual payments.

How are fees paid?

Our centres do not accept cash payments. Fees may be paid via EFT, debit order, or recurring card payment through our online secure gateway. All fees are due monthly or quarterly in advance.

What do the fees include?

Fees include full-day educare with a lunch meal. Additional charges are incurred for additional meals and extramurals. There is an annual equipment levy due at the beginning of each school year.

Do you offer sibling discounts?

Siblings are eligible for a waiver on the standard registration fee.

Is the registration fee which I need to pay to secure my child's spot, refundable?

No, our registration fee covers administrative time associated with processing and application and as such is not refundable. It does not function as a deposit.