About Ntataise

Ntataise meaning “to lead a young child by the hand” is an independent, not-for-profit organisation founded in South Africa in 1980 with the objective of helping women in disadvantaged, rural communities gain the knowledge and skills needed to establish and sustain effective Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes for children in their care. The challenge in those early days was not only the lack of any ECD programme for young children growing up in rural farming communities, but the absence of any trained black early childhood teachers. With professional assistance, Ntataise pioneered the provision of early learning on farms both through the establishment of pre-schools and the training of teachers. Ntataise began supporting similar organisations across the country providing training, capacity building and information on the most recent developments within the sector. Over the years Ntataise’s work has developed to meet the needs of the communities with which it works. Its reach has expanded from farm worker communities to towns and villages across the country. This has been achieved through the growth and support of the Ntataise Network which today has developed into one of the largest and most successful Networks in the South African ECD sector.

Our continued vision

Thirty nine years on and Ntataise’s vision continues to be to ensure that growing numbers of children living in disadvantaged communities of South Africa gain access to quality early childhood development opportunities that support their physical, emotional and cognitive growth. To achieve this, Ntataise focuses on supporting the development of leaders, specifically women within the sector, both at grassroots level in community-based programmes and in the training organisations which support these women working directly with young children.

The Ntataise Network

One of Ntataise’s greatest success stories is the development and growth of a Network which includes some of South Africa’s leading ECD training organisations. This Network has been developed over 20 years and has made its mark in areas where there would otherwise be no ECD provision for young children. The Network grew out of a need to strengthen the delivery of quality ECD services to disadvantaged, rural communities. The first eight organisations were started by Ntataise in the Free State and Mpumalanga. Over time these organisations came to be self-sufficient and independent. Today the Ntataise Network has become one of the strongest of its kind in the country and its 18 independent member organisations span seven of South Africa’s nine provinces. 


Ntataise Free State operations

Ntataise’s work in the Free State has spread from establishing pre-schools on farms in Viljoenskroon to training and supporting women involved in ECD programmes (both centre and home-based) in an increasing number of towns in the northern Free State and surrounding areas. Ntataise Free State’s training and development programmes work directly with pre-schools, children, parents and communities with a pivotal focus on the child.


Why early childhood development?

A child’s early years are critical in determining the path of his or her later development. From birth to seven years is a period of rapid physical, mental, emotional and social growth and development. It is during this period that a child acquires the concepts, skills and attitudes which lay the foundation for life-long learning. Research has shown that for children from disadvantaged communities timely and appropriate interventions can often reverse the effects of poverty and early deprivation and maximize the development of a child’s innate potential. One way of achieving this is by increasing access to good quality early childhood development programmes.

Latest News

CQ is the new EQ of IQ: Ntataise in a time of Covid-19

In 1980 it was IQ; 2010 was EQ; in 2020 it’s CQ – change quotient; the ability to adapt to the new ever-changing environment.*

TThe Covid-19 pandemic has compelled us to change the way we think about how we move, work, connect, learn and play. With the closure of schools and ECD facilities in mid-March, Ntataise put a hold on our training, mentoring and development programmes.


Ntataise on Radio 2000

Ntataise Director Puleng Motsoeneng was invited by Radio 2000 to talk about the role of parents and caregivers of young children during this lockdown period. The interview formed part of the Radio 2000 Morning Show on 30th March 2020.


Accelerating the Ntataise Digital Strategy

Two years ago, Ntataise developed a Digital Literacy programme with the objective to improve the digital literacy levels of Ntataise and Ntataise Network staff including Directors, ECD trainers, mentors, administration staff and ECD practitioners. This programme is central to Ntataise’s Digital strategy which aims to develop the proficiency of ECD trainers, facilitators and practitioners in the use of digital platforms for their continuous learning and professional development.