Parental/primary caregiver capacity building training package

Every child has the right to the best possible start in life

UNICEF South Africa/2008


This training package was developed to enable trainers to train parents/caregivers who take care of babies and young children from birth to five years old. It is acknowledged that parents/caregivers possess a wealth of experience, knowledge and skills and the training programme uses this as the starting point. New ideas will also be shared with the participants. Trainers of this programme should be familiar with adult learning principles, have completed the ‘Train the Trainers’ workshop and should be in possession of a NQF 4 or equivalent qualification at least. Trainers should preferably have a solid knowledge of all the resources in the community where the training is conducted.

The training package consists of 11 sessions. The topics focus on essential skills, knowledge and attitudes that are important in raising babies and young children up to five years old.

The following topics are covered:

  • Health and nutrition
  • Play and creativity
  • Physical development
  • Social development, emotional development and confidence building
  • Intellectual and language stimulation
  • Child safety and protection
  • Healthy family relationships
  • Positive discipline
  • Grief and bereavement
  • Me, the parent/caregiver

Each session of the training package consists of the following components:

  • A training manual to direct the training
  • Background document(s) containing important information that serves as the foundation for the training manual
  • Handout(s) for participants as reminders of specific sessions
  • Various annexures that support the training manual
  • A list of references
  • A PowerPoint presentation to conclude each session; if a multimedia projector is not available, an overhead projector or alternative can be used.

Trainers of this programme should be familiar with adult learning principles, have completed the ‘Train the Trainers’ workshop and should be in possession of a NQF 4 or equivalent qualification at least.

The training package is designed in a flexible way, i.e. sessions can be trained in a time block or the training can be spread over a few weeks during which one session per week is trained, for example. Each session will take more or less three hours to complete. The programme was tested in different settings before it was finalised. The results of the programme evaluation were incorporated into the final version of the training package. 

The training package provides the bridge or link between the Community Component of the Integrated Management of Childhood Illness Strategy (IMCI) and the Key Family Practices (KFP) as published and promoted by the Department of Health. The Key Family Practices are included in this training package.

The training material is developed in English and it is recognised that this will pose particular challenges in a country such as South Africa which has such a rich linguistic diversity. Until the time when this manual is translated, trainers should adapt the training material to local conditions.

Low literacy version also available for download

Department of Social Development in collaboration with UNICEF
Publication date