False Bay TVET College graduate Amanda Mbovane only fully realised the value of early childhood development (ECD) when she became a mother. Bringing up her three boys not only brought a mother’s joy but opened her mind to the importance of parental involvement in a child’s early learning, something she knew was lacking in many homes in her community of Philippi East and she decided to make a career of engaging with inquisitive young minds.
But first, she needed to complete her matric. After registering at a community college, and tackling the challenge of juggling motherhood and studies with typically cheerful determination, Amanda received her precious matric certificate in 2016, at the age of 35 years.
She then took on and completed a National N Diploma in Educare at the Khayelitsha Campus of False Bay TVET College. Each level of the course lasts six months, a total of 18 months of theory followed by 18 months’ practical experience.
After graduating, Amanda successfully applied to Kings and Queens Pre-Primary School in Summer Greens, where she happily creates a stimulating space for children aged four to six years old to safely learn and develop. Amanda enjoys reading, dancing and singing as much as her wards.
“Working with children is my first love. Their smiles, their unconditional love, those big enquiring eyes, I love that I get to be a child myself sometimes. Nothing beats that joy of watching a very shy baby laugh or open up and tell you stories. I enjoy going to work and every morning, I can’t wait to see them,” she says.
Principal Melicia Munsamy says Amanda is an asset to the school. “Amanda is a dedicated and hardworking person and a responsible and reliable employee. She loves working with children. We always receive positive feedback from our parents about Amanda. The children love her,” says the principal.
Numerous studies have shown that children who receive a good ECD education between birth and starting schooling experience better learning outcomes throughout their learning journeys afterwards. Sadly, despite the government recognising ECD’s importance, there is still a huge shortage of quality ECD facilities in South Africa, particularly in poorer communities.
Amanda is determined to make her contribution and plans to run her own ECD centre in future, where we are quite sure she will not only achieve her financial and career goals but will still have fun helping her little ones to learn.