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Early Childhood Development (ECD) is a comprehensive approach to programs and policies for children from birth to seven years of age. It’s purpose is to protect the rights of children to develop their full imagination, emotional, social and physical potential.
The Department of Basic Education is responsible ONLY for children in grade R.
There are many challenges that ECD development sectors face in our country. Challenges such as lack of teaching resources, the alarming children to teacher ratio of 1:31, the poor infrastructure of centres, over a million children aged 3 to 5 years not attending ECD centres and the depriving circumstances in children growing up and among these challenges the government is not really that concerned about ECD development, a lot of these ECD centres have to look out for themselves.
These challenges put children at a risk of not reaching their full development potential and becoming productive students in the near future. There are many reasons to why these challenges are there especially in South Africa, one of them being many children are born in poverty and formal education before the age of 7years of age was/is not compulsory until the year 2020. Another reason being a fair number of ECD practitioners (78%) do not have the right or rather appropriate qualifications to teach at pre-school level. And 23% of these practitioners have no sort of training what’s so ever. Additionally, not all ECD training courses are registered with relevant bodies such as South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) and most courses and ECD programs are not aligned with the new NCF for learners 0-4years.
At Privilege Foundation we have partnered with PEN, an organisation focused on many things stating from Young Children aged 0-6years of age. Together we hold hands to make sure ten ECD centres at a time are of good standard. Helping with infrastructure where needed, making sure that food is of available for children and equipping the practitioners with necessary resources one of them being an ECD Coach. These ten ECD centres has a coach that takes them by the hand throughout the whole academic year and provides them with themes and topic for every week also training them in process and we hold sessions for practitioners to run an ECD centre smoothly. Each year these ECD centres improve from one point to the other. Our aim is to see all children of South African attending pre schools that are of a well standard.