Give every child the benefit of early childhood development

Keep all children on track by Grade 4

There is strong international evidence that sufficient investment in early childhood development (ECD) can significantly improve national educational, health, social and economic outcomes. This is the time when the building blocks for one’s entire life course are being laid down, and the rate of physical and mental development is at its highest.[1]Heckman J (2006). Skill formation and the economics of investing in disadvantaged children. Science, 30, 1900-1902 Without this solid foundation, children start to fall behind and additional investment is then needed to help them catch-up.

ECD is the most powerful investment in human capital that a country can make.

In South Africa, there are roughly five million children under five years of age. Unless things change, half of these children will never be exposed to any form of out-of-home learning experience.[2]Republic of South Africa. National Diagnostic Review on ECD. Department of Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation, 2012 Therein lies a massive opportunity if we defy these predictions and give every child the benefit of quality early childhood development.

The irony is just how simple the inputs are – love, food, safety and stimulation – that should be non-negotiables for every child!

Of course, ECD is not a lucky charm that protects children for life – regardless of future experience or circumstance. Poor schooling and other negative factors can still throw children off track who had previously benefited from ECD. But, children who have the intellectual and physical benefit of ECD are able to make full use of subsequent investments in their development. On the other hand, children who don’t access this opportunity constitute a greater economic burden on the State in later life.[3]Caspi A, Houts R et al. Nature Human Behaviour 1, 0005 (2016) | DOI: 10.1038/s41562-016-0005

References   [ + ]

Learn more
about this
opportunity

  • Learn from reflection and analysis
  • Access resources
  • Learn from implementation experience
  • Apply for Funding
4

Our goal is to expand access to early learning for at least an additional
500 000 children in South Africa.

What we will be working on…

From 2017-2021 we, together with Government, will build platforms of quality ECD at scale by:

  • Improving access to, and use of data for planning and monitoring.
  • Supporting national planning for financing and human resources.
  • Designing and making available ECD management tools.
  • Demonstrating a programme mechanism for the rapid scale-up of quality services.
  • Generating greater and more informed demand for early learning services.
  • Innovating solutions to specific early learning challenges.

Click here to read how we plan to do it.

 

WHAT HOW
Improve access to, and use of, data for planning and monitoring. District-based Knowledge, Information and Data Solutions (KIDS) initiative of Ilifa labantwana.
Support national planning for financing and human resources to deliver early learning at scale. Financial and human resource analysis and planning with national and provincial Treasuries and Departments of Social Development.
Design and make available ECD management tools to support quality delivery and enhance systems for scale. Further develop and promote Ilifa Labantwana toolkits.
Demonstrate a programme mechanism for rapid scale-up of quality services. Support for social franchise mechanisms like SmartStart and EarlyBird educare@work (Innovation Edge).
Generate greater and more informed demand for early learning services. Public communication and community-based advocacy programmes, through the Love, Play, Talk campaign.
Innovate solutions to specific early learning challenges. Support for the Innovation Edge.

×

Opportunity 1
Drive public innovation by reigniting civil society
Opportunity 2
Release the systemic chokes on innovation that are perpetuated by exclusion
Opportunity 3
Create unlikely networks to stimulate positive change
Opportunity 4
Give every child the benefit of early childhood development
Opportunity 5
Stop nutritional stunting among children under two years
Opportunity 6
Make sure every child is ready to read by the time they go to school
Opportunity 7
Build simple, loving connections for every child
Opportunity 8
Place failing schools ‘under new management’ so that children can succeed
Opportunity 9
Create new connections to opportunity for young people
Opportunity 10
Support young people to keep their grip on opportunity
Opportunity 1
Opportunity 2
Opportunity 3
Opportunity 4
Opportunity 5
Opportunity 6
Opportunity 7
Opportunity 8
Opportunity 9
Opportunity 10