'Mandela and Children' Book Launched!

Madiba and children

Celebrating Madiba's Life and Legacy

In celebration of what would have been Nelson Mandela's 100th Birthday this year, the Centre for Early Childhood Development (CECD), together with the Cape Town Museum of Childhood, developed a Madiba and Children Book, which was officially launched on Mandela Day 2018.

The Madiba and Children Book includes a unique collection of photographs and stories from people who met Madiba as a child. These honest stories capture the essence of Madiba's character: a caring, patient man who loved people and was extremely fond of children. In addition to these inspiring stories, the book presents artworks from almost 100 children from various schools across the Western Cape. A wonderful collection of photographs of Madiba interacting with children, from the well-acclaimed photographer, Benny Gool, is also presented in the book. Nelson Mandela was a champion for children and had a huge impact on the lives of millions of children around the country. With this book we honour Madiba's legacy and his love for children.

On 18 July 2018, on what would have been Madiba's 100th birthday, the Madiba and Children Book was launched with an event of over 200 people, including the children from the participating schools, the individuals whose stories are told in the book and other important guests. Transport for the majority of the children and parents, was sponsored by Cape Town Shuttle Services. The event had live music and entertainment, speeches and messgaes from young children, and a panel discussion where a selection of individuals from the book shared their childhood memories about Madiba.

The Madiba and Children Book was developed by Bridget Kahts and Professor Eric Atmore from the Centre for Early Childhood Development. If you would like a copy of this book, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 021 6832420.

New ECD Research Study Available - ECD Centre Quality


Research on Quality ECD Centres now available

This research study explores the views of stakeholders in the early childhood development (ECD) sector on the essential components that contribute towards the making of quality ECD centres. ECD is vitally important in the South African context; however access and quality of ECD services is a significant challenge. While accessibility to ECD services is progressively being realised for young children; the quality of these services remains a challenge. This study was carried out with a sample of fifteen principals of effective ECD centres in the Western Cape, South Africa... READ MORE.

To read the full research article, click here:
Research conducted by Bridget Kahts, for the degree of Master of Social Sciences in Social Development, University of Cape Town, under the supervision of Eric Atmore.

New Research Report on ECD Released

'Effective Early Childhood Development Programme Options Meeting the Needs of Young South African Children'

- By Lauren-Jayne van Niekerk, Michaela Ashley-Cooper and Eric Atmore

A new research report with the support of the Programme to Support Pro-Poor Policy Development (PSPPD), was released in March 2017. This research report details twelve best-practice ECD programmes currently being implemented throughout South Africa, including both centre-based and non-centre-based ECD programmes. This research study was conducted with the aim to describe and analyse ECD programme options, which work towards increasing access to ECD programmes and improving the quality of ECD for young children in South Africa. Each case provides a detailed description of the programme; the number of beneficiaries reached; a cost breakdown; as well as how best to implement the programme.

This research supports ECD service providers and government departments to implement the National Integrated ECD Policy approved by Cabinet on 09 December 2015, providing children with greater access to quality ECD programmes thereby reducing inequality and poverty. It ensures that the correct information is available for decision-making, that systems are improved, and that high numbers of children are effectively reached through a range of quality ECD programme options. This research is of benefit to children, families and communities because government, the ECD non-profit sector and communities now have guidance providing much-needed, quality ECD programmes. By providing South African policymakers with guidelines based on empirical evidence, the quality of ECD programmes can be enhanced, and those children presently excluded can be reached.

To download an electronic copy of the report, click here: Research Report PDF to download.

To view the report as a e-publication, click here: Research Report e-publication.

An opinion editorial on the research was published in The Mercury Newspaper on 13 April 2017. The article can be read here: 'Starting Them Young'

International Children's Day 2018

CaptureInternational Children's Day 2018

International Children’s Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness about child rights and well-being, and is celebrated annually on 01 June. This year, CECD was privileged to celebrate this important day with the young children at Christine Revell Children’s Home. The day was filled with fun activities including... READ MORE.


International Children's Book Day 2018

Book Walk 2018 Header 2International Children's Book Day 2018

In celebration of International Children's Book Day, we hosted a "Book Walk" with the children of Church of Christ Educare Centre, in Silvertown, Athlone, on 29 March 2018.

The aim was to empower children's journey to reading as well as foster an excitement about reading. We encouraged the children to go home and read the story from their take-home activity, to their friends and family... READ MORE.


Book Drive for Mandela Day 2018

Mandela day 2018Book Drive for Mandela Day 2018

In support of International Literary Day on 08 September 2017, the Centre for Early Childhood Development and the Cape Town Museum of Childhood launched a campaign to collect books for children in community ECD centres.

In anticipation of what would have been President Nelson Mandela's 100th birthday (18 July 2018), our aim is to provide 100 books to 67 ECD centres across the Western Cape. You can help by donating new or gently used children's books for children... READ MORE.


Universal Children's Day 2017

Header1Universal Children's Day 2017 - Bringing Children Together through Play!

The Centre for Early Childhood Development and the Cape Town Museum of Childhood celebrated Universal Children's Day, celebrated annually on 20 November around the world, with 200 children at the Nantes Park, in Bridgetown, Athlone. The 200 children were from neighbouring early childhood development (ECD) centres in the nearby communities.

This is the second time we have celebrated Universal Children’s Day with children at the park and what better a way to celebrate than to bring hundreds of children to a park to play! Play is a crucial part of children’s early development and as such the aim of the event was to bring children together through a common theme of play... READ MORE.

South Africa Calls for a Children's Commissioner

childrens commissionerSouth Africa Calls for a Children's Commissioner

Since the start of the year, more than 60 children have been murdered in the Western Cape. It is clear that as a country, we are not effective in protecting and advancing the rights of children. To address these challenges, stakeholders in the children's sector are unanimous that a Children's Commissioner is necessary, and that we urgently need to explore the role, scope and powers of such an office. In September this year, the Draft Western Cape Commissioner for Children Bill 2017 was gazetted. The Bill is currently under review with non-profit organisations (NGOs) and stakeholders in the sector submitting comments for the improvement of the Bill, where a central concern is the lack of independence afforded to the Commissioner in the Bill. The Centre for Early Childhood Development is part of a committee who are drafting a joint NGO submission on the Western Cape Commissioner for Children Bill... READ MORE.

The Story of Sinethemba Educare

This story is the first in a series of inspiring case studies of some of the wonderful ECD principals and centres that CECD has worked with over the years.


Grace Duko runs an ECD centre in Wallacedene, Kraaifontein in the Western Cape. The story of her work in ECD with her centre, Sinethemba Educare, shows what determination, passion and a love of children can achieve.

Grace first opened her doors in January 1998. Grace started off by looking after 6 to 10 children in a room in her house. Over time she realised that she thoroughly enjoyed working with children and watching them grow. Grace decided to take on more children and converted her house into Sinethemba Educare, which accommodated 29 children. In 2013, Sinethemba Educare managed to purchase a larger piece of land from the City of Cape Town in Wallacedene in order to accommodate more children. Working with numerous supporters, construction on a new ECD centre started in 2014 and was completed in 2016. Grace’s new centre can now accommodate 125 children.

Grace and her team of dedicated staff offer a quality education to the young children in her community. It is this quality education that will set the children at Sinethemba Educare up for future success in their lives. The Centre for Early Childhood Development is honoured to work with women like Grace, in order to ensure the best education for our country’s youngest citizens... READ MORE.