Cotlands launches new direction and Cotlands Toy Library Association of South Africa

Categories: In The Media.

It is estimated that over 83% of children in South Africa below the age of six do not access any form of structured early childhood learning.  Because of this alarming statistic, and the fact that the number of HIV infections in children has decreased dramatically, Cotlands has chosen to move away from its highly successful health focused model to an education focused model.

“We have had great success with our health model and while we will continue this service on a reduced scale, our primary focus will now be gearing children for school by providing them with the opportunities that will see them excel academically, economically and socially,” said Cotlands CEO, Jackie Schoeman.

Cotlands officially launched its new model at its newest toy library situated inside the Children’s Memorial Institute (off Empire Street, Johannesburg).

702’s David O’ Sullivan who already has a long standing relationship with the Children’s Memorial Institute hosted the event.

“I’m delighted Cotlands had the vision to take over the Toy Library. It’s a sunny, spacious room, packed with an incredible variety of toys – a true fantasy world for any kid. It provides a wonderful environment, where inner city children can play in safety and learn important social and developmental skills.”

By expanding its services to address the developmental challenges experienced by children in vulnerable communities, Cotlands is able to offer a community based program that uses play to intervene directly with children who cannot access Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres.

Cotlands ambassador Loyiso Bala says, “Cotlands has taken a bold step to address the early learning crisis in our country. It is crucial for all children to have access to resources and opportunities that will enable them to reach their developmental milestones. As a father, I know the importance of play in my child’s cognitive and emotional development and I am proud to be an ambassador for an organisation that is taking constructive play to the children who need it most.”

Play is crucial to a child’s social, emotional, physical, and cognitive growth. Children learn about their world through play, especially in their formative years.

“Investing in children today will have a significant impact on their later development. It is our belief that by offering vulnerable children educational opportunities, we are able to influence their health and psychosocial development as well,” explained Schoeman.

Through the national toy library and community based early learning programmes Cotlands is able to bring access to quality education closer to those children who need it most.  

“Our hope is to find partners who will help us achieve our dream of seeing a toy library in every community as it is through these facilities that children will have the opportunity to learn and to express themselves,” added Schoeman.

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