Your child’s bright future starts here

Every child deserves to thrive. We support you to ensure that your young child is empowered to succeed, right from the start

The First Five Years

The early years of your child’s life set the foundation for their success at school, and beyond.

The human brain grows and develops fastest during the first five years of life. This is a critical time to build learning pathways for a bright future.

Young children who experience a stimulating and nurturing environment are more likely to develop strong thinking, social, emotional, and language skills and behaviours. These will become the driving force behind their personal, social and economic success.

The Smart Start

Based on evidence and global best practice, our nurturing SmartStart programme equips your three-to-five-year-old child with the age-appropriate skills they need to lay these crucial foundations.

The Smart Strategy

To develop and thrive, your child needs the right stimulation and the guidance of a caring adult. SmartStart uses a rigorous matching process to recruit suitable individuals that meet our criteria from within local communities.

With the correct skills, tools and guidance, our licensed SmartStart practitioners are specially trained to lay the foundations for a brighter future for your child, and every child in their care.


As your child’s first and most important teacher, you can support their learning and development by creating opportunities for fun and play in the home. And SmartStart is here to help.

Our vision is to ensure every child in South Africa has access to the benefits of early learning – not just at a SmartStart preschool, but at home, too.

We have created this Parent Space to provide you with the tools and resources to make every week of learning count at home.

Explore this space for stories, games and tips to help your child build important skills and behaviours for success at school and beyond.

Smart with Heart

The SmartStart programmes is focused on achieving three key outcomes for your child:

Healthy Relationships

The ability to form happy relationships to give them a secure foundation.

Confident Communication

Confident Communication

To be a smart a thinker and communicator, who uses language effectively to listen, reason and speak.

Life Skills

Life Skills

To develop core general skills such as self-control, perseverance, flexibility and memory, which are essential for success.

The Daily Difference

The SmartStart daily routine is based on five pillars for effective learning.

These pillars require an environment that encourages your child’s curiosity, empathy, communication, imagination, and overall well-being.


1. Nurturing

A stable, caring environment where your child feels safe, valued and loved


2. Talk

Positive and plentiful adult-child interactions to encourage language use and development


3. Play

Opportunities for child-directed, open-ended play, supported and extended by adults


4. Storytime

Interactive storytelling that introduces your child to new language and concepts


5. Parent Partnerships

Build strong partnerships with parents and caregivers through ongoing engagement, meetings, and feedback sessions.

The SmartStart Daily Routine

To learn and grow, children need a well-structured daily programme that encourages interaction, free play, time to talk, and to engage with the world around them.

A predictable daily routine promotes development and learning as children feel safe and secure in their environment.

The SmartStart daily routine is displayed on cards in the learning space, and referred to throughout the day. Children learn to recognise the different parts of the daily routine, as well as the words and symbols associated with each activity.

This is the beginning of early literacy.

Below is an example of our daily routine cards that are in display in our Early Learning programme:

SmartStart Daily Routine
Children are welcomed and prepared for the day ahead.
Children gather in the morning to talk through each message on the programme’s message board. They reflect on the weather and share their individual feelings.
Children play and share activity in smaller groups.
Each child can individually choose an activity that they want to do in play time. The Early Learning practitioner asks each of them to share which activity they plan to do.
Children freely choose to play in any of our play areas that comprises pretend play, building and art, among others.
Children return toys and play items to the correct places. This helps children learn how to match items to labels.
Children recall the activities during play time. They learn how to recall activities and share their thoughts with other children.
Children play together as a whole group. The play group games, acting out stories, make music and sing songs and dance.
Before the end of the daily routine, our Early Learning practitioner shares a story to help children develop their language skills.

Smart Results

In 2018, we commissioned an external evaluation on children attending our SmartStart Programme. Children were assessed using a South African based child assessment tool known as the Early Learning Outcome Measure (ELOM).

The tool determines whether children are developmentally on track for their age and whether an Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme is effective in preparing children for entry into school.

Children assessed during this evaluation has showed that children in the SmartStart programme achieved the standard across all domains and have increased from an initial 32% at the beginning of the assessment to 62% at the end of the assessment eight months later.

This means that children in the SmartStart programme has made significant gains in their development over the eight months that they have attended the SmartStart programme.

Join Us

Sign up to find out more about SmartStart initiatives in your community and receive our newsletter.

It’s a safe and supportive space loaded with important information, activities and regular updates to help you give your child a smarter start, wherever you are.