Early Childhood Development and the Crosstrainer Programme in Rural Mahikeng

Danette De Villiers, Adeleigh van der Westhuizen, Cornel van Rooyen



In South Africa, early childhood development (ECD) in rural areas is challenged by the lack of a centre-based programme and because the ECD practitioners are inadequately trained.  The Crosstrainer Programme (CTP) may be a centre-based early childhood development programme that could address this challenge. Consequently, the aim of this study is not to prove, but to determine the level of efficacy of the CTP on the development of three to four year old children in the rural Mahikeng areas. 


An experimental trial was conducted. The ECDC (Early Childhood Development Criteria) were used to test the children (49 from 17 ECD centres).


Both Section A: Cognitive SRRA (School Readiness Risk Areas) and Section B: Fine Motor Coordination were improved by the CTP. However, Section C: Gross Motor Coordination showed no improvement by the CTP.


The CTP proved valuable in the improvement of the Cognitive SRRA and even more so on the fine motor development of the population group. It is recommended that activities directed at gross motor development should be increased and amplified in the programme. Further studies on the CTP regarding the development of the children and the occupational enablement of the ECD practitioners are recommended.

Key Words: Early childhood development; ECDCross Trainer Programme; CTP; occupational therapy; early learning programme; rural ECD centres; ECD practitioners.

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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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