Working @Earlybird

Earlybird is a social enterprise which building a network of high-quality Early Childhood Care and Education (‘educare’) centres across South Africa. We use multiple delivery channels in order to be able to provide children from across the socioeconomic spectrum with access to our offering.

“Working with the Earlybird team to adapt the Stellar programme for a preschool context has been a positive experience. Their education team is committed to innovating around emergent literacy and ways to ensure the children in their preschools are exposed to a wide variety of developmentally-appropriate, fun and enriching language experiences. Their “whole language” approach draws on the latest research around language acquisition, expression, and early literacy skills. I endorse the Earlybird learning programme’s approach to emergent literacy.”

Dr Shelley O’Carroll - founder director of Wordworks.

“I came to know Megan and the Earlybird learning programme during my tenure as Deputy Director in the Early Childhood Development Directorate of the Western Cape Department of Social Development. I also participated in a number of “ECD Launchpad” stakeholder roundtables with the Earlybird team and have attended events they have presented at as well as invited them to working-group meetings I have orchestrated. Earlybird’s early education expertise is multi-faceted, and their commitment to keeping abreast with and adapting the latest international evidence to their approach where appropriate, is one that few ECD providers in South Africa share. I believe every child deserves a high-quality, early learning experience of the caliber of the Earlybird model” 

Kamesh Flynn - Former Deputy Director in the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Directorate in the Western Cape Department of Social Development and Special ECD projects manager. Board of Trustees for the Reach Trust. Executive Director of the LifeMatters Foundation. Social worker and teacher.

“Early mathematics in preschool classrooms in South Africa is often a rote affair focusing predominantly on sing-song counting and memorization of shape names. It is crucially important for children to be exposed to a broader array of maths and mathematical-thinking activities which are both engaging and situated (i.e. contextualized within children’s real-world daily experiences). Earlybird’s game and play-based approach to early maths education strives to fulfil these criteria, with ample emphasis on pattern recognition, spatial reasoning, hypothesis formation, sorting and other often-neglect elements of foundational mathematics.” 

Cally Kühne - Cally is a senior education specialist and ECD Stream Leader for Early Numeracy at UCT’s Schools Development Unit (SDU) .