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 (from the Centre for Early Childhood Development)

A new research report written by the Centre for Early Childhood Development, 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 study 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 officials 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 offered 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'

ECD Conference - March 2017

On the 16th and 17th March 2017, PRAESA, together with The Froebel Trust, The DHET, Unicef and Centre for Early Childhood Development co-hosted a conference on quality education in early childhood, in Cape Town. Please find the conference brochure here:

 If you would like more information about the conference please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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The State of CSI in South Africa - A Summary

The Trialogue CSI Handbook provides insight into the spending patterns of corporate investment in social development in South Africa each year. It serves as a great resource for NPOs to consult. The Centre for Early Childhood Development has summarised the key findings of the Trialogue 2015 CSI Handbook (18th edition), which can be downloaded here: The State of CSI in South Africa 2015 - Key Findings from Trialogue 2015. Hard copies of the handbook can be found on the Trialogue website here.

 

A joint effort is needed to put an end to deprivation

Despite the global recognition of the importance of upholding children’s rights, millions of children in South Africa still suffer from poverty, homelessness, abuse, neglect, preventable diseases, and unequal access to education. In order for our country to flourish, it is these basic human rights that need protecting.

In this article, we explore key areas affecting the lives of young children. Some areas show positive progress, with others showing less successful results.

The above information was taken from 'A joint effort is needed to put an end to deprivation' by Lauren van Niekerk and Michaela Ashley-Cooper; you can access a full copy of this here.

Early Childhood Education: The Difference Between Policy and Reality

“In making ECD a reality for our children, several challenges emerge which need to be overcome if we are to ensure that young children have their constitutional, social, educational and economic rights met. The main challenges are: political will, systemic challenges and implementation challenges....

In order to achieve the NDP vision and outcomes, a number of immediate actions are required. These include the following: the mobilisation of political will; the crafting of targeted ECD legislation; a substantial increase in funding; increase in provision rates and ECD programme quality; establishment of minimum training qualifications for ECD teachers; respect for ECD and Grade R teachers; increase in the competencies of government ECD officials; co-operation with the non-profit sector; a realistic and effective ECD implementation plan and costing; a national, integrated monitoring and evaluation system...

South Africa has made some progress in meeting the rights and needs of young children, but so much more needs to be done. Eighteen years after the historic democratic elections, we still fail our youngest children and their families in many respects. Millions of young children continue to be denied access to quality ECD programmes and services. Given the immense social, educational and economic benefits of quality ECD opportunities it is imperative that every child has such an opportunity. This is an opportunity that could determine not only the destiny of a child, but also that of a nation.”

The above information was taken from the article “Early Childhood Education: The Difference Between Policy and Reality” by Eric Atmore, Michaela Ashley-Cooper, and Lauren van Niekerk, you can access a full copy of this article here.

Challenges facing the early childhood development sector in South Africa

The majority of young children in South Africa are negatively impacted by a range of social and economic inequalities.

Apartheid and the resultant socio-economic inequalities have created a childhood of adversity for most black South African children in the country, including inadequate access to health care, education, social services and quality nutrition. This has undermined the development of our children.

There has no doubt been progress in South Africa since 1994, both quantitatively and qualitatively: there have been improvements in Grade R and ECD provision over the past eighteen years; the number of children in Grade R has trebled since 2001 and quality has improved; government expenditure on Grade R has increased three-fold since 2008/09; the number of ECD centres registered with the national department of Social Development has increased to 19,500 and there are currently approximately 836,000 children in a registered ECD centres, of which 488,000 (58%) received the ECD subsidy. 

Notwithstanding the progress made in early childhood development provision since 1994, children in South Africa still face significant challenges; with major gaps in infrastructure, teacher training, nutrition, ECD programming, institutional capacity and funding. It is fair to say that much work is still needed, if we want to improve the quality of children’s lives in South Africa and say with confidence that the needs of our youngest children are truly being met.

The above information was taken from Challenges facing the early childhood development sector in South Africa by Michaela Ashley-Cooper, Eric Atmore and Lauren van Niekerk, you can access a full copy of this here.