Bongi* is three years old and loves anything with wheels. He has one small, metal car with rubber wheels, which he carries everywhere he goes. Bongi’s mother, Flora, works at a clothes shop in town and she drops Bongi off at one of the Palabora Foundation’s early learning centres on her way to work each morning. Flora used to leave Bongi with her grandmother, but a friend introduced her to the idea of a crèche.

Bongi benefits from having more educational toys, supplied by the Palabora Foundation’s visiting toy library. The staff at the crèche have had training in how to use the toys to teach young children basic skills such as sorting, naming colours, counting and other skills that will help them make the transition to Grade R. Bongi loves “school” and shows off his counting skills to his family whenever he gets the chance.

* All names have been changed. Photographs are representational.