Graceland pre school


Nestled in the heart of the Devon Valley winelands near Stellenbosch, Graceland Preschool was established in 1998. It is located in a beautiful and serene farm setting and caters to the children of Devon Valley’s farm workers. These families live on local farms, often in cramped conditions, where three generations share accommodation. Graceland offers their children hope of a better future through preschool education. Parents can continue their work on the surrounding wine farm knowing their children are safe and are receiving a far better education than they had.

At Graceland we transform the lives of vulnerable pre-schoolers between the ages of 3 and 5 years, preparing them for success at school, as well as in life. Through our excellent Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme, we instil a passion for learning in a loving, safe and inspiring environment. Developing both fine and gross motor skills is an integral part of the programme and you will find our learners are equally keen to play and to learn. These activities, coupled with good nutrition, ensure that our learners reach those vital growth milestones.


Graceland focuses on a well-balanced and healthy childhood to effect social transformation through integrated care and education. It is beyond argument that the extent to which children develop in their early years has a significant impact on their potential later in life. According to UNICEF’s research, half of a person’s intelligence has developed by age four. Early childhood interventions have a proven and lasting effect on intellectual capacity, personality, and social behaviour. This is the primary reason behind the drive for ECD programmes in South Africa. The guiding principle is that a well-equipped child makes for a well-equipped teenager, who is bound to become a better-equipped adult.

One of the challenges we face in Devon Valley is alcohol dependence among farm workers. This plays a major role in sustaining a cycle of poverty and dependence, leading to child abuse, violence, family disruptions and FAS (Foetal Alcohol Syndrome). Many children attending Graceland suffer from mild to moderate FAS and need special care and attention from our educational staff.


Graceland Preschool is the only registered preschool in the Devon Valley area that caters for farm worker’s children (ages 3 to 5) and serves 17 farms. It offers a holistic approach to education; focusing on the key developmental areas – physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and intellectual. Our skilled and qualified staff, together with our curriculum, meet all the requirements of the Department of Social Development.

Classes are taught in a safe, warm, and dry environment, where our children know that they are mentally and physically safe. Graceland has its own library, two separate classrooms (3-4 years and 4-5 years), a well-equipped play area, an official vehicle, and a fully functioning kitchen.

One out of four children in South Africa suffers from malnutrition. At Graceland, learners receive two nutritious meals per day as well as a healthy snack between meals. In 2022 we provided 13 700 meals.

The formative years of a child’s life are the foundation for future learning. Graceland Preschool is a feeder school to the local, Devon Valley Primary School. We continue to receive excellent feedback on our children’s readiness to take on their next educational phase.

Providing a second chance to vulnerable youth.

We are Graceland Preschool

Graceland Preschool provides holistic education to children of farm workers, ensuring that parents can continue their work on the surrounding wine farms. Their young children are not only cared for, but also receive the educational skills to prepare them for primary school and life. With a unique library on site and the support of the local farming community, Graceland ensures that 30 children per year, get education right from the start.

Subscribe and

Stay Connected

Get the latest news from Thembalitsha Foundation!


When translated from Xhosa, our name “Thembalitsha” means “new hope”.

Our Aim

At Thembalitsha, we aim to restore and bring a new sense of hope to the destitute, forgotten and vulnerable people of the Western and Eastern Cape.