Nursery schools in South Africa offer half day programmes. Some also offer aftercare and holiday facilities. Nursery Schools in South Africa generally don’t have baby classes, although you may find one or two that do provide care for younger siblings.
Nursey schools in South Africa usually accommodates toddlers from 18 months or 2 years upwards, while a pre-primary usually only takes children in the year they turn four. Teachers in nursery schools in South Africa will have degrees in early childhood development and the grade R class will be registered and follow the syllabus of government or private schools.
Many pre-primaries are attached to private schools and are run as part of the school, whereas nursery schools generally aren’t and usually don’t have a grade R class. The fees tend to be at the higher end of the range and you pay extra for aftercare and holiday care. Meals usually aren’t provided, and you’ll need to pack a snack for break time.
There is plenty of free play time and also plenty of supervised activity time. Older children are not usually given a sleep time, and the day usually doesn’t start until 8:30 or 9am. Some nursery schools in South Africa require that children are potty trained before they’re admitted to the school, others allow children to potty-train when they’re ready to take that step.
There is a wide variety of philosophies and education methods, from traditional to Montessori to Waldorf and everything in between. You really have to shop around for a school you’re comfortable with.
Benefits of taking a child to nursery schools in South Africa
Day nurseries are a great option if you want your child’s learning and care to have structure. Staff are trained to create a safe, happy and stimulating environment where your child can play and develop. Your child will be able to do a wide variety of activities at day nursery. These activities will be designed to encourage your child’s social, creative, communication and listening skills, as well as his physical development.
Activities your child may take part in Nursery schools in South Africa include:
- painting, drawing, gluing and sticking
- playing with the sand pit, water table or playhouse
- listening to stories and reading
- creating with construction blocks and play dough
- doing jigsaws and puzzles
- moving and dancing to music
- singing songs and nursery rhymes
- cooking simple dishes
Your child will have the chance to play and learn in a group. This can help him to gain confidence and develop his social skills.
Nursery staff work closely together, and a manager oversees the running of the nursery. Most nursery schools in South Africa also use a key worker policy, meaning that one person will take an overview of your child’s care and development. Your child’s key worker is likely to have a quick chat with you at the end of each day to let you know what he’s been doing.