The overarching goal of the CDP is to improve the quality of the early learning years for young children. All CDP Early Childhood Development initiatives are driven through the continuity of learning through the creative arts. We believe that healthy, creative and sustainable ECD Centres provide the safest, most nurturing environments that are conducive to the development of the whole child.

The CDP offers ECD training programmes nationally and aims at training Practitioners, Trainers, Community Development Workers, Toy Librarians , Caregivers, Playgroup Practitioners and Leaders to use arts activities to introduce young children between the ages of birth to 6 years to creative thinking and practice – to learn to be innovative and contribute to the holistic development of a young child.

Creative Art in ECD Programmes

This project encourages the use of waste materials as a way of stimulating creativity and introducing an awareness of environmental issues. A large part of the workshops are experiential, giving the Practitioner an opportunity to explore and develop their own creativity in a non-competitive and non-threatening environment. 

Art teaches practitioners to structure an enriched environment in which children engage freely with the activities available, and are encouraged and supported by the practitioner.

Basic ECD Skills

The focus of this programme is to bring quality ECD skills to the homebased caretakers that have no basic ECD skills for working with children in neglected communities. We do this through a powerful and practical training course that we developed covering critical components for the holistic development and wellbeing of young children.

Literacy through Arts & Culture in ECD Programmes

Through stories, songs and rhymes, children are encouraged to express themselves by drawing, painting, singing, movement and discussions. They find ways of dealing with problems and challenges through hearing stories about others who faced and overcame similar challenges. The project also looks at the importance of culture through story books, themed displays, rhymes and songs and sees how it influences the lives of children today. 

In achieving the above outcomes, we emphasise the importance of home language and second language development and the richness of cultural diversity.

Maths and Science through Arts and Culture Programme

The project encourages learners to learn Maths and Science through artistic skills by exploring mathematical concepts of colour, line, shape, space, shadow, dimension and perspective. Art and Science overlap naturally. Learners therefore explore the world around them, as they observe, experiment and create in the context of their own culture.

Creative Teaching and Learning Programme

This project presents a rich compendium of teaching and learning strategies that can be used by Practitioners teaching different age groups. The emphasis is on exciting, inclusive learning experiences, which genuinely engage young children and raise motivation.

At the end practitioners walk away with a huge range of resources made during the workshops ready to be used in the classroom.

Creative Approach to Stimulating Babies and Toddlers Programme

With this project our objective is to inspire practitioners working with babies and toddlers to see these little people in a different light. In our work with practitioners over the years we have found that the baby and toddler groups in many centres remain under resourced and poorly stimulated. There has recently been an upsurge in training for this age group but CDP has developed some really original and creative methodologies to share with practitioners that will enhance their childcare and teaching practice. During the course they make a variety of toys and teaching resources to use in their Centres and receive a small starter pack with additional resources to support the new ideas and knowledge that they have gained.

Gender: Early Socialisation through Art

Gender is the process through which children learn about the social expectations, attitudes and behaviours typically associated with boys and girls. This programme focuses on the understanding, planning, organising and setting-up of a creative neutral gender learning environment for young children using arts methodologies. The objective of this programme is to raise an awareness of gender equality at a very young age

Creative Techniques for Playgroup Leaders

This programme was developed to enrich the exisisting knowledge and skills of Playgroup Leaders/Managers. Key components cover in this programme are management skills, planning tools, monitoring, evaluating, assesssing and reporting of playgroups. The programme was expanded by exposing playgroup leaders on how to use recycable materials creatively in their playgroups.

Creative approach to African music in ECD programmes

Children of all ages love and learn so much from the action of playing with musical instruments. Together with Pedro Espi-Sanchis a renowned musician, composer, storyteller and educator, known in South African circles as “Pedro the music man”, CDP developed an innovative programme making and using African musical instruments made out of natural and found materials to enrich learning for young children.

Creative approach to mental and emotional wellness

The coronavirus pandemic has had a lasting impact on our mental health, emotional health… livelihoods and causing feelings of grief, stress, anxiety and hopelessness. 

This programme was essential for the healing and coping of ECD Workers during the aftermath of the pandemic. CDP believes that the positive mental and emotional state of ECD workers is critical to create a positive and safe learning environment for young children.

Daycare Business Management

ECD centres are popping up every where for a variety of reasons and not many are compliant or registered. This programme was developed to assist new and existing ECD principals to run their ECD centres professionally working towards compliance. Ensuring that the children in their care are being holistically developed, are safe and have nutritious meals daily.

Creative Communities Programme

The initiative encourages communities to use innovative and creative approaches to support children’s education. The project’s focus is on young orphaned and vulnerable children in communities who have no access to ECD programmes. 

Every week an open play programme was set up with stimulating activities for babies and toddlers at a local space. Children and their caregivers were encouraged to participate. This was followed-up by home visits to the families of the children. The programme has been successful and we are ready to share our experiences; please contact the CDP for further information.

Changemaker Children

CDP together with Dr Simon Sizwe Mayson conceptualised the Changemaker Children programme with the aim to connect various ECD stakeholders and join forces to provide an ECD support for existing ECD centres and caregivers. Through supporting children and their caregivers to be ‘makers’ and ‘changemakers’, the programme aims to co-create a wellbeing economy with its heart in Makers Valley(Bertrams, Lorentzville, Judith’s Paarl, Bezuidenhot Valley and Troyeville).

The following are projects provided within the CMC Programme:

  • CMC Play Group – offers children two-hour or more play-based learning opportunities held by trained ECD practitioners while their caregivers are offered training and support on how to create handmade learning resources using ubiquitous and recycled materials, such as sensory toys for newborns like feely bags, mobiles, baby gyms, which they can take home for their children. 
  • CMC Mobile Centre – offers visits to ECD centres lacking equipment and skills the opportunity to regularly bring their children to a space where the children play and the daycare practitioners are trained on producing their own play equipment. These are ECD centres not in walking distance of the Changemaker Children Centre. The CDP facilitator goes around to all ECD Centers in the Makers Valley using a bicycle fitted with a trailer to carry the training material; using the Each-one-teach-one approach, he offers innovative performing and visual arts activities that ECD teachers are not skilled in. 


The CDP believes that schools play a central role in developing the value system that guides a nation. Our organisation uses different arts methodologies to create an awareness of these values and create a space for learners to freely develop an attachment to their country through the arts. 

Creative Arts and Culture Teacher Training

The CDP has been part of numerous National and Provincial Curriculum Policy development initiatives since 1996. This programme prioritises Teacher development in the Creative Arts learning area of the national curriculum in schools.

Artists in Schools

The CDP developed the Artist in Schools Policy Document that embraces the role of the arts in all learning areas. This policy document was approved by the Gauteng Department of Arts, Culture and Recreation in January 2013. In addition the CDP implemented the Artist in Schools Programme in the Moretele District of the North West Province by training Arts & Culture Educators from Primary and High Schools. Art lesson plans were developed and followed by classroom implementation support visits.

National Symbols

National symbols are defined in terms of the constitution of South Africa and are meant to promote reconciliation and nation building. The CDP was commissioned by Gauteng Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation (GSACR) to work with a number of schools to use the visual arts to create an awareness of the national symbols and national coat of arms to develop permanent artworks like mosaic to constantly remind learners of their rich national heritage.

Human Rights Education through Arts

This intervention is a Peer Education run programme provided within the basic education schools. Through the project the CDP offers training of its unique integration of gender and art-making techniques as a means of creating a voice and a safe space for all learners in schools. 

Using the arts and human rights approach, learners were encouraged to explore their identities and understanding of Human Rights and LGBTI issues and develop skills to ultimately support a “rights based” advocacy work. This will ultimately help in instilling a sense of self-worth and political purpose in young school going LGBTI community, educators and all learners in general.  

Art as sustainable livelihoods project

This project is aimed at developing and promoting the arts, culture and heritage programmes in Limpopo, Free State, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape. The role of the CDP was to train 10 Visual Artists in each of the provinces on the elements of art and principles of design and to equip them with skills on how to create sustainable livelihoods using the arts especially in the local schools.

Boys in Action against Gender Based Violence through the ARTS

The Boys in Action Against Gender-Based-Violence through the Arts Project was facilitated by Peer Educators to encourage adolescent school going boys to make a difference in redefining masculinity and defending the rights of girls and women in general. 

The information and creative art skills the boys will receive through the project are meant to enable them to raise awareness amongst their peers and community members and act as fighters of violence targeted at women and girls. Through newly-developed peer clubs, the young people in schools will understand issues around gender-based-violence and the behaviours, attitudes and practices that place women and girls at risk of GBV.

Creative Arts Special Needs Teacher Training

This project aims to enrich the existing creative arts knowledge and skills of teachers working spefically with learners with educational special needs in Limpopo. Visual arts facilitators trained the teachers on the basics of creative arts using a variety of arts methodologies creating in 2 and 3 dimensions, as well as the elemenst of dance and music that can be used with the learners with special needs.

Creative Arts Learner Programme

Every Saturday children from our community attends art classes facilitated by local artists and art students. Through this project we hope to tap into the skills and talents that these children possess and are not used maximally in schools. We believe that some of the children who are part of the project may, at some point in their lives, fall back on these skills as sources of income. 

One of the aims of this project is to ensure that creative self and group exploration that is intrinsic to the arts takes place in a learning environment that is safe and supportive and at the same time it takes children away from the dangerous streets of Bertrams and the surrounds. It is about enabling a growing sense of identity and belonging, and of caring.

Women’s Unit:

The programmes provided is designed to build women’s ability to participate in decision-making, advocate and campaign on issues of violence, gender rights, and actively contribute towards good governance; both locally and nationally. The content is delivered through the medium of the creative arts, most particularly the visual arts as a means of opening up new spaces for narrative and dialogue, to provide an innovative approach for learning and work towards becoming creators of public advocacy media around issues affecting their lives.

Naledi YaMeso

Aims to teach women who work with women’s groups to engage directly in the creative arts as expressive vehicles for transformation. Participants learn to use a range of visual media to explore, understand, and give testimony to their own experiences of our gendered environment. They gain confidence, knowledge and skills to speak out, they claim and protect their rights, strengthen their roles as leaders, and work towards becoming creators of public advocacy media around issues affecting their lives. They further learn to transfer these skills to other women they work with; building women’s healing and growth.

Train the Trainer

This is the educational enrichment of women trainers. The project consolidates and expands CDP’s innovative art-making training methodologies, in training trainers to use them in their organisations; both community-based and formal education structures. The programme employs Freirian educational tactics that is; it assumes that each participant comes into the space with existing knowledge. The point of departure is that each participant is a contributor who can both learn and teach in the space. The role of the facilitator in this context is to unearth, and create space for, the expression of this existing knowledge and to use it as a point of departure for further learning.

Regional Learning and Innovation Hub

In 2015, CDP expanded our footprint by working with feminist organization’s from Zambia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. A consortium was established with the goal to engage women in self-discovery and discourse that positions them to bring about social change and to advance feminist social justice through challenging and changing the structures of gender, patriarchy and social inequality embedded in our society. 

The CDP’s shared our art-based creative methodologies in visual arts, performing arts to strengthen the work that the organization’s does and to set CDP as a capacity building partner in the region.

Skills Development:

The aim of our skills development projects is to give women income-generating skills and assist unemployed women to escape the poverty cycle and indigence as we believe “crafting an income brings hope and dignity”.

ArtasEconomic Liberation

A Skills development training in a range of accessible, viable and transferable arts practices, including public art, that addresses the endemic lack of opportunities for women and the resulting exclusion of women from the market place. The project further confronts the culturally embedded, oppressive patriarchal practices impacting on and affecting women. The ultimate aim of the project is giving women income-generating skills, leading to self-supporting work and independence.

The women are trained on multiple art skills including mosaic, tie-dying jewellery making and beadwork, visual arts, printing as well as lino-cutting and carving.

Since 2010 women from our programmes have been commissioned by government departments, corporates, private organisations and individuals to produce arts and craft which assists in supporting their families.

Community Building unit:

Bertrams Park

Bertrams Precinct

Gauteng Carnival

Lantern Festival

Trashion Parade

Colour Run


Art as Advocacy