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.