Who are we
The Early Learning Resource Unit (ELRU) is a national non-profit organisation (NPO NO-003-285), and accredited training provider in the early childhood development (ECD) field. This year we are celebrating 30 years of excellent practice and visionary leadership.
What we do
We have a research and development focus and are able to pilot early childhood development programmes that may be adapted for use in urban and rural contexts. We offer training of teachers and trainers as well as community development programmes in the under-resourced urban and rural communities of South Africa. Our research contributes to policy and programme development. We produce training materials and learner resources of outstanding quality in different languages.
Why we do it
Good quality ECD programmes equip children from poor communities with the necessary tools to overcome some of the obstacles to a successful school education. Studies have shown that, over time, ECD programmes successfully address the social ills that accompany a poor education, including poverty, unemployment and crime.
The American High Scope Educational Research Foundation longitudinal study, the only study of its type, documented a return to society of more than $16 for every tax dollar invested in an early care and education programme.
Where we do it
The Early Learning Resource Unit (ELRU) is a national organisation and has worked throughout South Africa. While our learnerships are offered in Cape Town, we also offer training and mentoring in the Northern Cape and are implementing our community development programme, Wakh’umntwana Wakh’isizwe (Build a child, build a nation), in Lusikisiki and Vredenburg.
How we do it
ELRU, a registered FET college, offers SETA-accredited learnerships (provided at Levels 4 and 5) and basic ECD training to practitioners and other NGOs. Our range of unique training materials are sought after and sold to learners, NGOs and FET colleges.
ELRU pioneered family work with the Family Community Motivator programme, which has informed policy and is used as a reference framework by government, the donor community and ECD NGOs. Our Wakh’umntwana Wakh’isizwe (Build a child, build a nation) project facilitates co-operation between government, CBOs and NGOs and the communities that they serve to improve service delivery in ECD.
We support government plans for ECD by piloting models that demonstrate best practice and draw on local and international experience. Our internationally recognised research benefits Government’s planning for the most vulnerable young children. Because of this the HSRC has initiated long term partnership with ELRU.
Advocacy in the ECD sector remains critical, and we are embarking on a programme to secure funding for this as well as for operational costs and contributions to ELRU’s long term sustainability.