Down Syndrome Centre

A Pre-School Offering Inclusive Education



Introduction and Background


Peter Pan Down Syndrome Centre was established in Hope Street, Cape Town in 1986 by mothers of young children with Down Syndrome who were unable to find pre-school facilities of any kind for their children.


The Centre went on to pioneer the concept of inclusive education, introducing full integration of disabled and non-disabled pre-schoolers to the Western Cape for the first time. The Centre is registered with the Department of Education as a private pre-school and receives some support from the Department of Social Services.


Rational for Inclusive Education


Very few South African children with disabilities were served in community-based early childhood programmes prior to the establishment of Peter Pan Down Syndrome Centre.


The key to creating a successful inclusive programme is educating ourselves as well as other about how to ensure that every young child in the educational system is afforded the chance of reaching his or her highest potential.


Peter Pan Down Syndrome Centre became one of the first facilities in South Africa to extend the scope of the ordinary pre-school to include a greater diversity of children and to operate according to a set of principles which ensures that any pre-schooler, more especially those with special needs, is viewed as a valued and needed member of the community in every respect.


Peter Pan Down Syndrome Centre and its Aims


Peter Pan Down Syndrome Centre, currently located in Maitland, Cape Town, is a multi-cultural pre-school offering comprehensive full day care and specialise learning facilities for 60 children aged two to seven years from the greater City Bowl and the Cape Flats. Daily transport is provided to and from Peter Pan for its disabled pre-schoolers to ensure easier access to the facility.


The specific aims of the Centre are to:


Create a optimal learning environment

for pre-schoolers that promotes the full personal, social and cognitive development of all children irrespective

of race, class, gender, disability, religion, culture, learning styles and language.


Change attitudes, behaviour, teaching methodologies, curricula and the environment to meet the needs of all its learners, espicially those with special needs,


Uncover and minimize barriers to learning, and


Empower learners developing their individual strengths and enabling them to participate fully in the process of learning.


Peter Pan Education Program and Staff


The children at Peter Pan are taught according to the Grassroots Educare Trust Community Education Training (GETCET).


Peter Pan is committed to ensure that the staff are skilled, well equipped and fully supported to meet the needs of the young children in then care.


Peter Pan enjoys the support of significant numbers of volunteers and serves as a facility at which students from the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Cape Town, as well as International students, undertake practical work.


Complementary Services, Activities and Community Outreach Initiatives.


In 2002/03, Peter Pan embarked on a change process to transform its services and approach, and commence with its plans to develop the facility as a fully-fledged resource centre for the community.

Initiatives and outreach projects to realise this vision include:


The Disabilty Awareness -,


The Early Identification and Intervention -,


The establishment of a toy library, a component of the Early Intervention - and


The Parent/Teacher Partnership Campaigns.


Current Objectives, Activities and Funding Needs


The current objectives of Peter Pan Down Syndrome Centre are to:


Continue rendering quality care and needs directed to development, specialised education sercices to it   pre-schoolers, and to expand the facility so that Peter Pan is able to cater for more children.


Ensure that the teachers receive ongoing training and are well supported and skilled to best address the development and education needs of the children and implemenet the GETCET programme most effectively,


Continue promoting inclusive education and creating widespread awareness about and acceptance of dissability within the wider community by educating and sensitising community members with a focus on special needs children,


Continue the implementation of the early identification of special needs children within the community who could benefit from early intervention,


Develop and expand the toy library (currently established for internal use by Peter Pan pre-schoolers and their parents only), as a fully-fledged community resource, and


Upgrade and/or replace teaching aides and training -, classroom -, kitchen facilities and equipment, playground facilities to develop in a Practical Training Centre.


The Centre is privatley funded and fees paid by parents who are able to contribute, account for approximately 35% of the total income. Peter Pan receives a partial grant from the Department of Social Development for families who are unable to afford the fees. Fundraising, however is critical as grants and fees fall far short of the actual financial needs of the Centre.



Corner Essex & Coronation Roads, Maitland


Admissions for children, 2-7 years old

Transport to and from surrounding areas

A programme created around your child by experienced teachers

Small classes: Grade R included

Regular outings

Open: Mondays - Thursdays 7am - 5.30pm - Fridays: 7am - 5pm

Breakfast and Lunch, fun filled day


Tel: 021 510 8670 - Fax: 021 510 8671