Early Childhood Development.
Empowering our children. Building South Africa.
The current lack of awareness and knowledge about children’s right to access early education severely hinders the development of South Africa as country. The aim of this campaign is to encourage engagement with this right – for all young children to access early education opportunities.
Listen out for our radio interviews with community radio stations which will discuss this campaign, and the benefits of early childhood development (ECD) for you and for young children. You can also find a list of NPOs currently working in the ECD sector, across South Africa here.
ECD and the benefits for young children
Research in South Africa, and internationally, indicates that the early years are critical for development, and that one way of overcoming the adverse effects of poverty is to provide good quality ECD programmes for young children with support to their families. Research has also shown that quality ECD learning and care leads to higher levels of physical, cognitive and emotional well-being and better rates of lifetime learning and productivity. The early years have been recognised as the ideal phase for the passing of values that are important for the building of a peaceful, prosperous and democratic society. Early provisioning and interventions for children at risk can reverse the effects of deprivation, and make it possible for children to grow and develop to their full potential, thus reducing the need for remedial services to address developmental lags and social problems later in life.
Children who receive a quality ECD programme: perform better at formal school; are less likely to get involved in crime and drugs; are more likely to be employed; are less likely to need costly remedial education; and girls are less likely to become pregnant whilst a teenager.
ECD programme options available for young children
There are various ECD programmes that children can become part of. These include centre-based ECD programmes (ECD centres/preschools), and non-centre-based ECD programmes. There are many non-centre based ECD programmes for a child, if the child is not able to access a traditional ECD centre. These include playgroups, toy libraries and family outreach programmes. These programmes are run by ECD non-profit organisations (NPOs) around the country.
ECD has the power to transform our country
Quality early learning opportunities have profound effects on the development of young children, and life changing benefits for our communities and our country. We want to strengthen and empower women, through ECD; a traditionally female-lead sector. ECD provides an opportunity to study in the field, which can increase employability, leading to increased financial independence and well-being. To further your education and the financial security of you and your children, find out more about ECD.