Bright Starts Child Care is a non-profit organization providing Early Childhood Development skills and mentoring programs for children age 2-7years , with special emphasis on children with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in the Ocean View/Masipumemela/Fish Hoek areas. The program will form partnerships with local organizations and businesses to raise funds, donate to needy children and parents and create awareness of an ever-increasing problem. Bright Starts’s goal is to foster a commitment to young people that will promote pro-social friendships, strong interpersonal skills, and reassert a sense of hope in the future. Only through personal relationships can a sense of individual responsibility be re-established that will give these children the commitment to follow through on path to adulthood with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
Through the unfortunate development of destructive habits, at-risk young children need a lot of love, nurturing and attention to help them through the difficulties they face as they prepare for school. To accomplish this goal, Bright Starts wants to create a safe space where our children can be in a caring, inclusive learning environment that promotes their best effort and reinforces personal respect, even at such a young age.
In our safe space we plan a support system and support group for parents to come together, share experiences, share knowledge and share support, with volunteers to train them to cope with their child’s needs.
Bright Starts is a program that is in direct response to the growing number of children that are either falling through the cracks or are already on an educational back foot duet to the daily challenges they face whilst battling FAS. The goal of the program is to identify young children who are going to have a turbulent transition to school life and offer positive support systems to avoid the pitfalls that can derail them. The focus is slightly different at each level but the goal remains the same; empower the child and in turn the parents to make positive changes in his/her life.
Bright Starts will focus primarily on children suffering from FAS and mild autism. It is projected that within three years, the number of babies and children suffering from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome will increase by a minimum of 50%. Our chosen age group is particularly problematic and we believe this is the perfect time for mentoring to be effective.
Bright Starts volunteers and teachers are also mentors.
During their time with us our children participate in weekly planned activities to strengthen concentration, one-on-one interaction, actions and reactions, reflexes, and basic school skills such as reading, colouring and basic mathematics, preparing them to start school without feeling inferior, improving the child’s confidence and hopefulness. Teachers and volunteers will receive continuous training throughout the year and will participate in monthly meeting to report the young person's progress.
Over time, Bright Starts will create a learning environment that will be an invaluable resource to our children, aspiring mentors and the community at large.