Lynedoch Children’s House

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Imagination, creativity and learning are grounded at Lynedoch in early childhood development

The Lynedoch Children’s House was established in 2000 as a dedicated preschool for children from our village and valley. Here, we follow a Montessori approach to learning, cherishing each child’s innate love for learning. Over 65 children attend the Infant Community (0 – 3 years) and Children’s House (3 – 6 years). Safe and welcoming, we aim to nurture every facet of the extraordinary potential in the lives of these tiny humans.

A child’s foundational years are formative for a life-time of learning and development. Here, we provide integrated and ecologically focused learning and nature-based play. The children play in the natural gardens and participate each day in growing, harvesting and cooking of organic vegetables.


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In order to make an offline donation we ask that you please follow the instructions below to complete the process:

  1. Pay your donation into the SI bank account using the following details:

Name of Account: The Sustainability Institute Trust
Bank: Nedbank
Branch: Stellenbosch
Account no: 1071 330 888
Branch / Clearing Code: 107 110
Swift code: NEDSZAJJ

  1. Send your proof of payment to so that we can look out for your donation
  2. Please verify what you want the donation to be used for

The Sustainability Institute team

Donation Total: R100.00

The Team


Julia Jansen

Julia Jansen is a Facilitator in Lynedoch Early Learning (3-6 years).

She holds a NQF level 4 and 5 Diploma in Early Childhood Development. Her previous work with street children, was the beginning of her interest in a career working with youth. Her gave her first observation that children can work hard and show independence and spirit, not just play as is commonly thought. Julia finds that she continues to learn more about herself in this process, every day.


Colleen Erasmus

Colleen Erasmus is the programme coordinator for the Lynedoch Children’s House.

She has always loved children and believes in the difference that consistent love shown towards them can have and the real change that it can make. Colleen completed a 0-3 Assistants to Infancy Diploma in London at the Prestigious Association Montessori Internationale.


Christelle Jansen

Christelle Janse is a Facilitator in the baby center (0 – 3 years).

She holds an NQF level 4 certificate in Early Childhood Development as well as Birth to Three Assistants to Infancy course accredited by Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). She is the happiest when she is with children, and sees her work as an opportunity to improve herself daily by obtaining skills to continue the special work that is being done here.


Lisa Plaatjies

Lisa is a Facilitator in Lynedoch Early Learning (3-6 years).

She recently completed 0-3 Assistants to Infancy skills programme. First starting as a casual in the creche, she became familiar with the work material of the early childhood course being taught in the crèche, after which she got the opportunity to enrol as a student. She loves the idea that she is continually learning so much, something she never thought she would have the to do again having lived in the Lynedoch valley for many years.


Mandisa Sakawali

Mandisa takes care of the 3-6 year olds at the crèche of Lyendoch Early Learning.

She has worked as an assistant at and has had experience as an Au pair. Mandisa also completed a 0-3 Assistants to Infancy Diploma. With God as her inspiration, she wants to see these children grow up in a healthy and safe environment.


Melicia van Wiese

Melicia is an assistant of Lynedoch Early Learning and looks after children from the ages of 0-3 years old in the crèche.

She enjoys working with children on a daily basis, having worked as a private caregiver before joining the SI, and finds great joy in being part of this learning environment. Her other interests include listening to music and being present in the relaxing greenery of Lynedoch.

Video: The work we do

The following principles are core to the Lynedoch Children’s House:

  • Place-based and applicable to the local context and simple daily living
  • Focused on educating for human development in formal and informal ways, and celebrating multiple intelligences – visual-spatial, musical, bodily-kinaesthetic, interpersonal, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, naturalistic and intrapersonal
  • Taught in relational and transdisciplinary ways that incorporate literature, art, drama, numeracy and immersion in nature, including for example the children participating in the growing, harvesting and cooking of organic vegetables every day
  • Aimed at promoting problem-solving abilities, critical thinking and active decision-making
  • Eco-centric in approach encouraging understanding of human-nature reliance and connection with all life, and the ecosystems in which we are embedded
  • Core values that infuse respect, responsibility, independence, quality and community


The Montessori environment is one of beauty, generosity and kindness. Areas for Language, Arts, Practical Life, Sensorial, Mathematics and Cultural Studies make up a place of exploration and care. The children have a natural sense of freedom, within practical limits, to explore and interact with carefully prepared materials. Teaching staff play a facilitative role as guides, following the child in a flow of natural development. The process that the child follows is more important in this setting than the results or outcome of any specific activity.

Meaningful transformation and positive development can be achieved through healing, empowering and inspiring the children and youth in our communities. Our approach is holistic in nature, working not only with the children themselves but also their families and wider community.