Save-a-Pet 2019

In support of the 67 minutes tribute to Nelson Mandela for the Mandela Day Challenge Save-a-Pet set a target to collect 6700 tins of pet food.

We advised our parents that we would like to support this initiative with their help and asked that they please send a tin of pet food to school for them.

The response was wonderful and we were able to donate a total of 107 tins of food together with packs of dry food to Save-a-Pet.

Alpha Step ECD Centre would like to extend our sincere thanks to staff, parents and pupils for the wonderful support for this very worthwhile cause.

Letter of thanks from Save-a-Pet. We are so proud of each and everyone who contributed.
A donation of food that we are truly proud of!

Applications open for 2020- All age groups




  1. Online submission / Apply
  2. Printable PDF / Application Form

On submission of your application form and payment of the non-refundable enrolment fee all other relevant forms will be handed up or emailed to you.

Contact the office regarding the fee structure for 2020.

Alpha Step ECD Centre  is an independent private Early Childhood Development Centre.


It is not a feeder school to any school.

After Care/Homework Centre – Applications open




We provide after care for children who attend schools in the area. All children up to Grade 3 are welcome to attend on a casual or full time basis. We provide lunch, mid-afternoon snack and supervised homework – followed by fun activities until collected.

Children can be enrolled to include or exclude holiday club.

Parents need to arrange transport from the respective school to the centre.

For more information please contact the office via our contact section: Contact Alpha Step

Download and print: Application Form for After Care

Alpha Step ECD Centre, Walmer.

Gross Motor Skills

Gross motor skills – not only good for sports

Motor skills are movements and actions of the muscles. Typically, they are categorised into two groups: Gross motor skills and fine motor skills.

Gross motor skills are involved in movement and co-ordination of the arms, legs, and other large body parts and movements. They participate in actions such as running, crawling and swimming.

Fine motor skills are involved in smaller movements that occur in the wrists, hands, fingers, and the feet and toes. They participate in smaller actions such as picking up objects between the thumb and finger, writing carefully, and even blinking. These two motor skills work together to provide co-ordination.

Let’s investigate gross motor skills this week, and focus on fine motor skills next week…

Many parents think that having good gross motor skills can enable a child to excel at sports. This is only part of the benefit! Developing your child’s gross motor skills can do so much more than that – they can influence a child’s ability to write well and even to concentrate in the classroom.

Efficient control of the larger muscle groups in the neck, shoulder and trunk is necessary to maintain stability in order for the fingers and hands to move to complete the handwriting task. As children develop, control and stability begins at the trunk, progressing to the elbow, wrist and finally the hand. With normal development, fine motor skills are developed from gross motor skills. For example, a baby will first learn to swat, then reach, then grasp and then manipulate a toy. Children need to develop the proximal muscles (closer to the centre of the body) of the trunk and shoulder girdle in order to use the distal muscles (further from the centre of the body) in the fingers and hands. These proximal muscles develop in children with gross motor movements such as reaching, tummy time, rolling, all fours position, crawling, standing and walking.

Taking part in gross motor activities can also help your child develop the physical endurance needed to sit at a desk for extended periods of time, aiding his concentration.

The key is practise, practise, practise

Gross motor skills develop through practice and repetition, and therefore children need to be exposed to diverse opportunities to move freely and experiment with different resources to help their skills develop.

In her book Learning Disabilities, the late professor Janet Lerner explains that gross motor activities involve the total musculature of the body and the ability to move various parts of the body on command, controlling body movements in relationship to various outer and inner elements, such as gravity, laterality, and body midlines.

She lists many activities intended to develop smoother, more effective body movements and to increase the child’s sense of spatial orientation and body consciousness, and groups motor activities into walking activities, balance beam activities, and other awareness activities:

Walking activities

  • Forwards walk. Have the child walk to a target goal on a straight or curved path marked on the floor. The path may be wide or narrow, but the narrower the path, the more difficult it is to do the tasks. A single line requiring tandem walking (heel-to-toe) is more difficult than a wide path. A slow pace is more difficult than a running pace. Walking without shoes and socks is more difficult than with shoes.
  • Backwards walk. Have the child walk through the same course backwards.
  • Have the child walk the above with arms in different positions, carrying objects, dropping objects, dropping objects such as balls into containers along the way, or focusing eyes on various parts of the room.
  • Animal walk. Have the child imitate the walk of various animals: elephant walk (bend forward at the waist, allowing arms to hang down, taking big steps while swaying from side to side); rabbit hop (placing hands on the floor, do deep knee bends and move feet together between hands); crab walk (move sideways to the left and right, on hands and feet, face up); duck walk (walk with hands on knees while doing a deep knee bend); and inchworm walk (with hands and feet on the floor, take small steps first with feet, then with hands).
  • Stepping stones. Put objects on the floor as stepping stones, identifying placement of left foot and right foot by colours. The child is to follow the course by placing the correct foot on each stepping stone.
  • Hoop walk. Place hoops on the ground. Have the child walk between the hoops forward and backward and then hop through the hoops.
  • Box game. The child has two boxes (the size of a shoe box), one behind and one in front. The child steps into the front box with both feet, moves the rear box to the front, and then steps into that. The child can use different hands to move the boxes and use alternating feet.

Balance beam activities

The balance beam can be a flat board, either purchased or homemade. It can be of various widths; the narrower the width, the more difficult it is to do the activities. Each end of the board is fitted into a bracket that serves as a brace and prevents the board from tipping over.

  • Walking forwards. Have the child walk forward slowly along the board with the normal stride of a tandem walk (heel-to-heel). The task is more difficult with bare feet than with shoes on.
  • Walking backwards. Have the child walk backward along the board while keeping balance.
  • Sideways walking. Ask the child to walk along the board sideways starting with the left foot, then the right. One foot could slide towards the other, or lift and cross over the other.
  • More complex variations can be devised by adding activities such as turning, picking up objects on the board, kneeling, dropping objects such as balls or bean-bags into containers while going across, following oral or recorded commands while on the board, or walking while blindfolded, or with eyes focused on an object.

Other gross motor activities

  • The child can ride the skateboard lying on the stomach, kneeling or standing; and the surface can be flat or a downhill slope.
  • Balance board. This is a square board placed on a block-shaped piece of wood. Unless the weight of the body is correctly distributed, the board will tilt to one side.
  • Jumping jacks. Have the child jump, putting feet wide apart, while clapping the hands above the head. To vary this activity, the child can make quarter-turns, half-turns, and full turns, or jumps to the left, right, forwards and backwards.
  • The child should hop on one foot at a time and alternate feet while hopping. The child should hop in rhythmical patterns: left, left, right, right; or left, left, right – right, right, left.
  • Have the child bounce on a trampoline, bedspring, mattress, or a large truck tire tube.
  • A difficult activity for the child with poor motor coordination, it combines rhythm, balance, body movement, and coordination. Many children need help to learn to skip.
  • Play hopscotch. Visit // to learn the rules of this classic game.


SWIMMING LESSONS – Make sure that your child is ‘water safe’.

With summer fast approaching numerous parents have raised the matter of swimming and swimming lessons for their children. It is essential that children are ‘water safe’ to ensure peace of mind. Of equal importance however is that you ensure that the person or place that you enrol your child in for swimming lessons is accredited and registered.
Swim schools must be accredited – please take note of the following before enrolling your child for swimming lessons!
It is vitally important for parents to check out the accreditation of the swim school before enrolling their children.
“When you register your child for swimming lessons do you make certain that the swim school is registered? Just like when you enrol your child to start grade one, you make sure that the school is registered with the Department of Education. Same thinking.

It is your responsibility as a parent to make sure that the swim school of your choice is registered with Swimming South Africa.”
An accredited swim school will clearly display the certificate of accreditation which will have the physical address of the school or a plague with details of the school.

“Swimming instructors must be registered with their Provincial body and Swimming South Africa.”

Every province will have a list of registered swim schools and registered instructors that are recognised by the federation.
Visit for further information and news regarding Swimming South Africa.
“The public should be made aware of the dangers of having their children learn to swim from unqualified and unregistered teachers at swim schools. The general public have no idea how dangerous working with children in the water can be, especially toddlers.

A registered Learn to Swim teacher will offer a SAPS certified statement of no criminal record, a certificate in the necessary first aid and life saving skills and that the swimming school is in good relationship with the provincial governing body.”
Swimming South Africa is the governing body of aquatics in South Africa. Its objective is to encourage the practice of aquatic disciplines for all in South Africa with the purpose of promoting swimming as a life skill through the Learn To Swim programmes. These programmes provide healthy exercise to South Africans of all ages and races by recruiting recreational swimmers to compete in the various competitions and promoting athlete development to the highest level.

Let the children play – Limit screen time!


It is vitally important for the overall development of a young child that they spend time playing….Really playing.
Climbing trees, running, jumping and generally being active.
Attached is a very informative article that has been written by an Occupational Therapist, Carla Grobler,
Why should we limit out children’s screen time“?

Alphastep Holiday Club

Alpha Step ECD Centre Holiday Club

Education Plan – Invest in your child’s future

Plan for your childs future. Consult a financial Advisor to enquire about investments to help you plan and save for your childs future.

If you plan now you will be able to assist your child and ensure that they have the bright future that they deserve.

It is a proven fact that university graduates have greater prospects in the job market than those without a tertiary education.

“Education is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere”

Alpha Step Educare, 253 Main Road, Walmer

Alpha Step ECD Centre, 253 Main Road, Walmer

Tots & Toddlers

Alpha Step Tots & Toddlers

We cater for little one from 12 to 36 months in our tots and toddlers section. We are very privileged to have 3 wonderful staff who take care of their every need from changing nappies through to potty training. Feeding and helping them to feed themselves. It is such a rewarding age group to work with.

There are four important processes in the first three years.

There are four processes which clearly undergo major once-in-a-lifetime development in those first three years and are very sensitive to differential experiences.

The first is language, which is really an absolutely amazing process. Language begins to emerge between six and eight months of age. A child of a year of age perhaps understands 10 to 12 words. Three year olds can understand between 1200-1300 words. Experiences a child undergoes which, more often than not, are shaped by the parents, make a huge difference in how much language a child acquires by age three. Language is the single most common problem when children are not ready for school.

Second, the emergence of intellectual ability at age 22 or 23 months of age is also of significant importance. It is subject to experiential input in a major way.

Third is the capacity for trusting other people and falling in love with other people. This is another way of talking about the emotional stakes of the first three years. This is the reason why socialisation – the ability to interact with others, learning to share and to take turns – is of vital importance.

Finally, there is simple curiosity, which doesn’t receive much attention but is very important. Every healthy baby shows enormous quantities of curiosity from the first three or four weeks, but its development depends a great deal on the kinds of experiences the infant has.

If you don’t do a good job with a child in the first three years, can you turn them around subsequently? Remediation is difficult, if not impossible. We just haven’t learned how to take a slow three year old and turn him/her around. That is why prevention and optimization are so important.

The benefits of doing the job well are substantial. Few things in life are more rewarding than having a really good experience with children in the first three years. There is lasting impact when you have a three year old who enjoys life, enjoys people, and is fun to be with.

Entrust the development of your toddler to us!

Enrolment is just a click away! Enrol today at Alpha Step ECD Centre.

For day care that fosters the development of a new generation.

Musical appreciation – Jiggle and Jive

 Jiggle and Jive: Musical appreciation once per week

Experts indicate that little ones who are actively involved in music (who play it or sing it regularly):

  1. Do better in reading and math when they start school
  2. Are better able to focus and control their bodies
  3. Play better with others and have a higher self-esteem
  4. Feel more secure as they learn to know what to expect
  5. Learn to co-operate within a group
  6. Improve their listening skills
  7. Improve their gross and fine motor skills

These are just some of the good reasons why you should encourage an enthusiasm in music.

Music is a great communicator and it releases emotions. Within each  session your little one can express his/her emotions in a fun, relaxed way.

The sessions combine singing, creative movement and rhythm using handmade percussion instruments, toys and hand puppets in a delightful stimulating way.

Music contributes to a rich sensory environment which could benefit your little one positively.

When only the best is good enough for your child – enrol them at Alpha Step today!

Foundation Phase CAPS : Home Language (Grade R-3)

Foundation Phase CAPS: Home Language – GRADE R (An overview cont.)

In our post today we cover the topic of:


 Emergent Reading Skills

Recognises and points out common objects in pictures

  •  Arranges a set of pictures in such a way that they form a story
  •  Interprets pictures (e.g. makes up own story and ‘reads’ the pictures)
  •  Acts out parts of a story, song or rhyme
  •  Holds the book the right way up and turns pages correctly
  •  Pretends to read and adopts a ‘reading’ voice
  •  Recognises own name and names of some other children in the class
  •  Begins to ‘read’ high frequency words seen in the classroom and at school(e.g. door, cupboard)

Shared Reading as a class with teacher

  •  ‘Reads’ enlarged texts such as poems, Big Books, posters
  •  Makes links to own experience when reading with the teacher
  •  Describes characters in stories and gives opinions
  •  Predicts what will happen in a story through the pictures
  •  Answers questions based on the story read
  •  Draws pictures capturing main idea of the stories

Independent Reading

• Reads picture books

Alpha Step ECD, there for you and your child.

Alpha Step ECD Centre, where your child comes first and is the FIRST Step in your childs academic future.

Contact the office on 041 581 2395 – 253a Main Road, Walmer, Port Elizabeth.

Pre-school for children from 2 years to Grade R/After school care up to Grade 3 and Holiday Club.