Bhabhathane is excited to announce our new Early Childhood Development Forum chairperson: Sinta Reynolds! Sinta has been the manager of the Haut Cabriere ECD centre since November 2017, and works with her passionate team to give the children of Haut Cabriere a transformational and safe learning environment.

The ECD forum consists of the 18 owners and managers of the ECD centres across Franschhoek who come together to tackle common issues and support each other’s efforts to improve the quality of ECD education in the valley. Although Sinta has only been part of the forum for the past 2 years, she commented on how the forum members have begun to gel over time and now form a strong and supportive group. Bhabhathane supports the ECD forum by providing valuable ECD practitioner training workshops. Through empowering these important educators and role models, the positive impact and growth that these programmes create, reach hundreds of children in Franschhoek.

In our effort to share the inspiring work and stories that Franschhoek educators and leaders, I had a special opportunity to hear Sinta’s story and her exciting ideas for the ECD forum in the year to come.

Sinta’s passion for education, and particularly ECD education, is palpable. In response to why she is so passionate about her work at Haut Cabriere’s ECD centre and the ECD Forum, Sinta responded, “I believe that you can change the future through education. It is so important and we can be the change in these children’s lives. I want them to enlarge their world… There is so much potential among the children, to open their world and really give them a quality education.” “This is the time when you have the ability to change the child. They are like sponges- this is when they learn the fasted and when you can really change their lives.”

Although originally hesitant when asked to be to new chairwoman for the ECD Forum, Sinta has concrete and transformational ideas for the ECD centres in Franschhoek. On a personal level, she wishes to understand and experience how the other ECD centres function and what individual challenges each faces, to better understand issues raised in the Forum discussions. Her goals for ECD centres as a whole concern shifting the perception of ECD centres that parents and the community hold: “I want people to see us as professionals. They often see us as just nannies, looking after and entertaining the children for the day, but that’s not what we are. We need to be professional in the way we look and the way we implement our programmes in our schools.” Creating this professional reputation among ECD centres can really help in highlighting the great importance and impact that pre-school ECD education has in children’s lives. This phase of their lives is highly influential in shaping the rest of their school experience and their perception towards learning. Sinta hopes that through displaying a strong sense professionalism within the ECD centres, and engaging parents in the education of their children, the ECD education can rightfully be recognised for its significance in children’s lives.

The Haut Cabriere ECD centre runs workshops for parents to promote the continuation of the values, principles and lessons that the children learn at the centre, into their home environment. Bridging this gap between home and school environments is beneficial for both ECD practitioners and the children themselves. Sinta would like to assess whether this is a common challenge among other ECD’s and explore the possibility of combining forces to grow these parenting workshops.

Sinta’s words of encouragement to other community change-makers are “don’t give up” no matter whether you feel your action is making a difference. Any contribution, even the smallest, leaves an impact in the lives of people, and combined with other small, yet significant actions, can create a snowball effect of change. Sinta truly believes that ‘we are the change’ and that we need to change our attitude of blaming and complaining, to one of action and empowerment.

It is truly exciting to have such a motivated and passionate woman leading the ECD Forum for the year ahead, and Bhabhathane would like to wish Sinta and the 17 other ECD Forum members the best of luck.  To end off with Sinta’s inspiring words:
“We are the change”