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Giving children a head start

South Africa needs to get the foundation of education right if it is to realise the goals set out in the National Development Plan (NDP).

It is for this reason that the Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme is one of the priorities of government, says Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini.

She said government especially acknowledges and understands the importance of a child's first
1 000 days.

“We need to ensure that every child between the ages of zero and four has access to ECD. To achieve this, as a country we have a national integrated policy on ECD which was approved by Cabinet last year.”

The National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy gives direction and facilitates the provision of a comprehensive package of early childhood development services for all infants and young children, including children with special needs, children with disabilities and other developmental challenges.

It will ensure the best possible start in life for all children and contribute to the long-term prosperity of the country.

Minister Dlamini said about 1 343 336 children have access to ECD and it is government’s commitment to ensure that no child is “left behind” in this regard.

“Government would like to encourage parents to take their children to ECD centres ,and ECD practitioners to
register their centres,” said the Minister.

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