It takes a village

It takes a village

One of the greatest things about living on the North Coast is the fact that, although they have grown substantially over the past decade, our once small beach villages still hold a strong sense of community. Umhlali-based Village Kidz preschool principal Tanya Lawson shares some of the benefits of communities coming together to raise children on a school level.

“The old African proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is very fitting in our community. As parents, we are busier than ever with work, school, social activities and ever-growing to-do lists. Instead of juggling and struggling with guilt, it is up to us to build the kind of community we want, to create networks with friends, family, neighbours, caregivers, domestic workers, educators and extra-mural coaches. All these people feed into our little ones’ lives, giving them experiences that we can’t necessarily offer ourselves.”

Tanya says children are like little sponges, soaking everything up from those around them, especially in their early years. “When they are raised by loving caring parents, share an extended family and have opportunities to learn from others in the community, they have the richest childhood possible.” Here are Tanya’s tips on how to achieve this:


Children have more chance of learning when parents and teachers work together. Parents should be encouraged to get involved with open days, sports day, market days, grandparents’ days, concerts and more. These activities help build our children’s confidence and self-esteem, especially those who struggle with learning. It is important to engage with your little one about their school day. Encourage them to share what they are learning, what songs they are singing, what creative work they have enjoyed – you’ll be certain to enjoy the shared experience with your child.


One-on-one quality time gives family members the opportunity to interact and engage with their child. The family as a whole should get involved so that children can appreciate family values and the importance of participating. Grandparents often portray a sense of calm and endless patience, which has a positive effect on both the grandchildren and their own children (us as parents), who can benefit from the support and experience they give us.


Our emergency services on the North Coast are very hands on when it comes to school visits. This year at Village Kidz we were fortunate enough to be visited by the fire and police departments, the K9 unit and IPSS Emergency and Rescue unit. It is important for community leaders to take time out of schedules to interact with our children, who in turn learn invaluable lessons about the dangers around us.


Parents should be encouraged to visit schools and share their knowledge and professions with the children. They give our children insight and a better understanding of what goes on in the world around us.


Raising a child who gives doesn’t just help others – it boosts their confidence and self-esteem. Santa Shoe Box is a lovely initiative where children can play an active role in making up the boxes for the pledged children, getting a real sense of who they are packing the boxes for.

Get In Touch
Village Kidz, Eden Village, Salt Rock / / 032 815 0513


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