Toddlers’ Workshop was started in the eighties by an enthusiastic couple who wanted to create an educational enrichment program for mothers and toddlers, an issue which had up to that time not been addressed in South Africa.
As a remedial teacher with an honours degree in Psychology, Celia Kossar’s passion to reach out to young mothers and little ones soon attracted the attention of the media. Numerous articles were published about the vibrant workshop in Green Point, which in turn stimulated the growth of Toddlers’ Workshop as a franchise. Here Otto Kossar’s administrative skills provided the backbone whereby the organization expanded.
Not satisfied with addressing the educational advantages enjoyed by an affluent society, the Kossars set to work in supporting back yard crèches in Guguleto and Nyanga. It became evident to them that the socio-economic and racial divide complicated this endeavour. In 1992 the Kossars took the courageous step of moving away from the conveniences of city life, to set up a base next to an impoverished community in the Garden Route. Toddlers’ Workshop continued to operate as a franchise.
In time Celia became concerned about the financial requirements that a franchise necessitated. Mothers, who wanted to run Toddlers’ Workshops from home as a way of avoiding separation from their babies and children, still needed to work long hours to meet their financial obligations.
In 1998 the format of Toddlers’ Workshop changed from a franchise, to a training concept. This enabled workshop leaders to complete the Toddlers’ Workshop training without the usual franchise obligations. At present the Toddlers’ Workshop training includes a five-day residential and practical training experience at the head office in Sedgefield.
A pilot project for mother and child enrichment in an impoverished community has begun. Training for workshop leaders from previously disadvantaged communities will be done under the name of Indawo Yo Mama. Application for funding has been made, so that bursaries will become available for suitable candidates.
072 357 1279
Franchise in Summerstrand
Lynette van Wyk
Tel 041 5833320 or 0837933320
39 Brewer Road, Summerstrand, Port Elizabeth, 6001.
Franchise in Tableview
Tel (021) 557 5280 or 084 466 1163
28 Belvedere Close, Parklands, 7441.
Franchise in Edgemead
Tel (021) 558-8134 or 0824944799
3 Trent View, Edgemead.