Sherpa Kids – an internationally respected and trusted aftercare organisation that focuses on putting the ‘care’ back into aftercare – has successfully launched in the Western Cape.
Janine Hammond, Regional Managing Director of Sherpa Kids in the Western Cape, says, “As a working mom, I know what a huge deciding factor it is when looking for schools to find a preschool or primary school that offers a good aftercare system. We saw the great work that Sherpa Kids is doing in schools in Gauteng, and around the world in places like New Zealand, the UK, and Australia, and we knew absolutely that preschools and primary schools in the Western Cape will benefit from this programme.”
Sherpa Kids officially launched their before-school care, aftercare, and holiday care in South Africa in 2013. The name “Sherpa” is an homage to the mountain tribes who carefully guide climbers through difficult conditions by using their skills and knowledge in order for them to successfully reach their summit.
Outsourcing aftercare is the way forward
“Aftercare is often just an afterthought for SGB’s and principals who are dealing with other bigger issues. It is also often a burden to an already-exhausted, over-tasked teaching base,” says Janine. “However, just like most business owners in Cape Town know, outsourcing is fast becoming the best way to make everyone happy; protect the health and wellbeing of your staff compliment, and still keep a great brand reputation for your school by outsourcing your before-school, aftercare, and holiday care needs to the experts. This gives the teachers some breathing space, gives the parents peace of mind, and makes the children happy.”
“Leaning on someone else’s expertise for aftercare allows Principals and teachers to focus on their core business,” says Janine, “while still giving children the stimulation and supervision they need. The Sherpa Kids facilitators are the ‘fresh legs’ so desperately needed after teachers have already worked a full day.”
The answer to unregulated aftercare
Preschool and school are tightly regulated by government, however aftercare is completely unregulated. That means, anything can happen in aftercare, and anyone can run an aftercare.
“We approach aftercare differently,” says Janine. “Our people are thoroughly trained, regularly assessed, and kept accountable to international aftercare standards. This is why schools love us. Above all, they love children and want to see them thrive.”
Western Cape Private and Public Schools approve
In the short time since Sherpa Kids arrived in the Western Cape, both public and private schools have recruited Sherpa Kids to run their aftercare.
El Shaddai Christian School and Somerset College were the first to sign up, with Hout Bay International, Elkanah House in Table View, Forres Preparatory, and Shelanti Private School quickly following.
Says Kobus Stofberg, Director of Extra-Curricular Programme for Hout Bay International School, “The (holiday) programme was a great success and reports from students and parents was very positive. They offer a good, interactive programme with enough variation to keep everyone entertained and stimulated.”
Not only are Principals thoroughly pleased, but parents are seeing the difference in their children too. Says Dave from the Southern Suburbs about a recent Sherpa Kids Holiday Club, “Sherpa was fantastic for our sons; and super helpful at that time of year for us.”
Says Janine with a smile, “We know we’re doing something right when parents tell us their kids don’t want to leave aftercare when it’s hometime.”
Going forward, Sherpa Kids Western Cape hopes to give schools a stimulating, reliable alternative to their current aftercare situation.
To Contact Janine Hammond