Notes from our Director - Sustainability through Investment

CaptureSustainability through Investment - 01 August 2017

It is essential that NPOs sustain themselves in the long term in order to be able to provide the much needed programmes that they provide. If NPOs are not sustainable then they close, and vulnerable communities lose out on much needed social development services. Over the years many, many thousands of NPOs have closed in South Africa. In fact, probably more than half of the over 120,000 NPOs registered on the national department of Social Development database are dormant or closed... READ MORE

Mandela Day 2017

mendela day 2017The Centre for Early Childhood Development celebrated Mandela Day this year with the children of Sunshine Educare in Wolwerivier, a temporary relocation area in the Western Cape. With the support of POCO and Anchor Industries, much-needed resources, educational equipment and furniture was donated to the centre, to further promote the holistic development of the children in their care. Our Mandela Day event was both the official handover as well as a celebration for the 250 children.

Sunshine Educare was originally started in Skandaalkamp, an informal settlement located on the Frankdale Waste Disposal Site outside Tableview. In June 2015, the community, along with six other settlements, were moved by the City of Cape Town to an even more remote location called Wolwerivier. It was here that Sunshine Educare re-opened its doors in August 2015.

According to the principal of Sunshine Educare, Ms Pretorius, "Since then, our numbers have doubled with all the new children. We are still the only facility in the area and the community are even more reliant on our assistance than before. Poverty has worsened due to a larger number of residents, reduced public transport and they [the residents] now also have tiny houses and no space for vegetable farming – something that used to be the major source of food in the old area."

Mandela day is celebrated annually on 18 July in honour of Nelson Mandela's legacy. The day is a call to action for people to honour Mandela's values through volunteering and community service, and to realise the power each person has to make a difference. The Mandela Day campaign message is: "Nelson Mandela has fought for social justice for 67 years. We would be honoured if such a day can serve to bring together people around the world to fight poverty and promote peace, reconciliation and cultural diversity." With this event, CECD together with POCO and Anchor Industries, aimed to make a positive impact on the lives of young children in the Wolwerivier community.

mandela day 2017 2Sunshine Educare faces many challenges in Wolwerivier but despite these, continues to provide quality early learning services to the young children in their care and the centre has become a symbol of hope in the community. This Mandela Day, CECD together with POCO and Anchor Industries, wanted to honour the work the team at Sunshine Educare does by providing these much needed resources and celebrating the occasion with the children.

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In honour of what would be Mandela's 100th birthday next year, we are currently busy working on our Mandela Day 2018 campaign. This initiative will be a year-long campaign in which we will be supporting ECD centres throughout South Africa by providing indoor and outdoor educational equipment, teacher training, ECD building upgrades, and centre makeovers.

International Children's Day 2017

int child day 201701 June is recognised as International Children's Day around the world. This is a day to celebrate and honour children. The Centre for Early Childhood Development spent the day at Oasis Asset Management celebrating with 128 children from Nantes and Bridges Educare (from Bridgetown) and Kiddies Joy Educare (from Bonteheuwel) in the Western Cape. The children enjoyed the day with balloon making characters, jumping castles, a classroom set-up which included arts and crafts, a play dough station, construction area, a story telling session and a teddy bears picnic.

 

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'

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 outcomes, a number of immediate actions are required. These include the following: the mobilisation of political will; the crafting of 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; and 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. Twenty three 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 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 ECD 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.