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

2019 Ntataise Annual Report

Ntataise is delighted to share our 2019 Annual Report with you. Last year was another exciting year for Ntataise and the Ntataise Network as we continued to work together to increase the quality of early years services in largely marginalised communities in 7 of South Africa’s 9 provinces. We trust you will enjoy reading about our programmatic highlights and the many milestones reached in our 39th year of operation.


Food relief in times of Covid-19

The sudden and stringent national lockdown imposed by Covid-19 left many families deprived of work and hence income in areas where Ntataise operates. Recognising the urgent need for food in communities in the Northern Free State, North West and Gauteng provinces where we work, Ntataise became instrumental in various hunger relief initiatives, and arranged for the distribution of 2000 food parcels.


Piloting the digital delivery of the Ntataise Training and Support Programmes

On July the 6th 2020, almost four months after ECD facilities were required to shut down, the Gauteng High Court passed a judgement for ECD programmes to resume with immediate effect, on condition that they adhere to Covid-19 operating protocols.