Oct 2016 1st Edition

Promoting Early Childhood Development Centres

Written by Noluthando Mkhize

Social development

The Department of Social Development wants to do more to promote Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD).

“Our research indicates that ECDs are important because the first years of the cognitive thinking of a child are being taken care of at that level.”

“Research has shown that children who have gone through ECDs have an easier life in primary and high school in terms of learning,” said Acting Director-General of the Department of Social Development, Thokozani Magwaza.

South Africa has informal, formal, semi-formal and private ECDs, which have to register with the department.

“Everyone needs to be registered before they can operate an ECD, especially since we found certain ECDs already operating illegally.”

He added that his department wants to ensure that ECDs have minimum standards.

“As the Department of Social Development, we are responsible for the first 1 000 days of the child’s life and access to early childhood development.

“We are still in discussion with the Department of Basic Education. We are saying zero to four years is our responsibility in terms of access to ECDs, but beyond this who will be responsible for four years to six years?”

Magwaza said there are about 21 000 registered ECDs that are part of the department’s system.

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