Thušanang is an ETDP•SETA accredited training provider offering both centre and non-centre based programmes. There are currently 194 ECD centres affiliated to Thušanang with 326 practitioners at various levels of training or involved in support programmes. There are +/- 8,150 children reached annually through the training and support given to these practitioners and ECD centres.

ECD Training

Thušanang offers formal, accredited training as well as programmes that support and improve upon the implementation of the skills and competencies the practitioners have gained.

Training consists of residential courses, workshops and on-site support.

Thušanang is accredited to offer: the Further Education and Training Certificate (FETC) in Early Childhood Development (ECD) at level 4 on the National Qualification Framework (NQF); and five ECD Skills programmes  that contribute credits towards a General Education and Training Certificate (GETC).

Level 4 Qualification: This training takes place over 18 months and includes the core ECD unit standards, electives and fundamentals. Theoretical training takes place at our centre in Haenertsburg supported by workshops run at 6 different venues. On-site support, observation and assessment at the workplace is pivotal to the success of the training and ensures good implementation of learning.

ECD Skills Courses: There are 5 stand alone courses that Thušanang runs as a Skills Programme over 1 year. The training takes place through residential theoretical training at our centre, workshops and on-site support, observation and assessment. These courses are at levels 1 and 2 and provide practitioners with basic skills and knowledge to prepare them for the L4 qualification. The courses are supported by workshops on various topics.

Support Programmes: Thušanang offers various courses and workshops that support and enrich practice at ECD centres.

  • Preschool Orientation Programme – A series of workshops designed to give practitioners basic ideas on how to implement a daily programme in a well laid out environment. This programme is offered to practitioners who are unable to attend accredited courses at Thušanang due to the limited spaces available for new learners.
  • Ntataise Enrichment Programme – This focusses on promoting early literacy and early numeracy. It is offered mainly to practitioners who have completed the L4 qualification. The programme consists of workshops and on-site training.
  • Stories, songs and rhymes – A Curriculum Development Project (CDP) programme that promotes early literacy. All practitioners can take part in this course that teaches them to encourage children to express themselves by drawing, singing, movement and discussion. A short 3-day residential course.
  • Creative Art – Another CDP programme that uses waste materials to stimulate creativity and introduces awareness of environmental issues. A short 3-day residential course with follow-up on-site support.
  • Making ECD Learning Resources – A short residential course teaching practitioners to supplement the educational resources available at their centres with items made from waste materials.
  • Ha re Baleng – A Ntataise programme to promote and encourage early literacy. Run as a series of workshops.
  • Peer & Mentor Programme - An ongoing programme designed to strengthen partnerships between practitioners to maintain standards at ECD centres and ensure a good daily programme is run. The leadership capacity of dedicated practitioner/mentors is strengthened so that they can lead three to four practitioners, at clusters of preschools, under the mentorship of a Thušanang trainer.
  • Baby & Toddler Programme – This Ntataise course is no longer accredited but Thušanang still runs the course as it was originally designed with residential training and assessment on site.
  • Basic First Aid – Thušanang is licenced by St John to deliver the Document C course at levels 1 and 2.
  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) – Designed by Tree to create awareness and understanding of these issues. Run as theoretical training and followed up with an on-site support visit.
  • Parent Programme – A parent capacity building programme from UNICEF and the Department of Social Development. Run as a series of short workshops. Usually facilitated at an ECD centre.

Committee and Financial Management Training

To support the functioning and sustainability of ECD centres, Thušanang trains parent committees in the role of a committee and basic financial management and record keeping. The accredited Ntataise course on Managing an ECD centre is also offered to mangers/supervisors of centres.

Centre and non centre based access to ECD

Lesedi Nhlahle Crèche: The Lesedi Nhlahle Crèche operates at the Thušanang Centre for local workers’ children. The crèche also serves as a demonstration crèche for training purposes and provides the opportunity for ECD practitioners-in-training to observe and implement under the guidance of Lesedi and Thušanang staff.

Mobile ECD Programme: Our “ECD on the Move” programme, supported by the Department of Social Development, is operating at 8 different venues. Each venue is visited once a week and a shortened daily programme is run. Through this programme we are facilitating the development of +/-200 children who had no previous exposure to any development opportunities.

ECD on the move

 See video of ECD on the Move!


Three playgroups have been set up at venues previously visited by the Mobile ECD Programme.  The caregivers are undergoing training at Thušanang and are supported by trainers on site.

ECD Site Upgrading

Thušanang assists ECD centres to comply with Dept. of Social Development regulations for registration. Where funding allows, we erect fences, build toilets, upgrade classroom facilities and provide educational resources and training in their use. We plant trees and show the children how to care for them and offer food gardening workshops to encourage the centres to grow their own vegetables. Where possible this is done in cooperation with other organisations.

Students from Nottingham University gaining practical skills under the guidance of their tutor while building an ECD facility in 2022. As well as designing the building, the students raised the funds for this project.