SA edtech becomes country’s first registered play-focused preschool franchise

Play Sense, a local edtech startup has secured government accreditation, making it the first registered play-focused preschool franchise in the country. 

This ground-breaking edtech news comes right after the startup raised over R8-million in investment funding from an Africa-focused, gender-lensed international venture capital fund

Meg Faure CEO of Play Sense comments on the startup receiving the accreditation. 

“Our accreditation by the department is an important validation of the quality of both our educational programme and the innovative business model that underpins it. We’re excited about expanding the programme across South Africa this year and globally in the near future – and in the process bringing the ECD space into the sharing economy as a solution to some of the most pressing challenges faced by children, parents, and teachers in the world today. This kind of schooling really is the way of the future.”

As a first for South Africa, Play Sense’s curriculum has been registered by the Department of Social Development due to the surge in demand for home-based and innovative learning during the pandemic. 

Play Sense

Founded in 2016, Play Sense has developed a digitally-enabled micro-playschool programme. The programme enables teachers to set up their playschools at home with an imaginative and engaging play-centred curriculum for preschoolers. 

Play Sense has created a high quality, affordable ECD business opportunity for teachers and qualified caregivers who want to operate preschools from their homes.

“What makes Play Sense unique is that it is such a cost-effective and scalable model for highly progressive preschool education – something that the market has been asking for and that will empower lots of women who are passionate about ECD to become entrepreneurs who make an impact in their communities. They can now set up schools that offer an exceptional education to learners, without the high overheads of a school building because they can use their existing and under-utilised assets, their homes, instead. The fact that they work with a fully developed curriculum and fully equipped starter kit also saves them time and money and ensures that a specific standard of education can be upheld,” Faure.  

Learning model

The learning model has been created for groups of up to six children and caters to children aged between two to four. With lesson plans catering to three to five days of learning. 

Faure provides insight into the learning methodology adopted by Play Sense. 

“Our evidence-based curriculum follows the Vygotskian theory of development which says that guided imagination-based play is the best way to equip kids with the core capacities they need to thrive in a changing world, including self-regulation, executive function, creativity, collaboration, and learning readiness,” said Faure. 

Teachers undergo online and at home teaching training to utilise the learning model adopted by Play Sense. Trained teachers are able to run an online school for up to 12 families. 

“All our teachers are trained in both online and in-home education so that they can adapt as situations change. We just don’t know what 2021 holds, so we have to be flexible,” said Faure.

The Play Sense curriculum is aligned with UNICEF’s National Curriculum Framework (NCF), Early Learning Developmental Areas (ELDAS), National Early Learning Development Standards (NELDs), and Operational Norms and Standards for preschool education. 

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Featured image: Meg Faure CEO of Play Sense (Supplied) 

Ishani Chetty: Editor
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