The recently launched Social Franchising for Early Childhood Development (ECD) project (being spearheaded by DGMT and other donors) aims to reach large numbers of children by a) increasing access to early learning opportunities through informal playgroups, and b) improving the quality of existing early learning provision by training and supporting unregistered child-minders at municipal level. This will be supported by a national awareness campaign that drives improved home learning environments and early learning programme participation and initiation.
Partly to inform our conversations around project design, a literature review was commissioned on research relating to early learning programmes and parenting interventions. While by no means exhaustive, the review offers signposts and insights into good practice, key themes and areas of emerging consensus, which we think might be a useful reference tool for others working in the sector. Of course, we also hope that readers will be motivated to provide feedback on the document and in this way, contribute to an unfolding understanding of how social franchising for ECD might best be applied in the South African context. Earlier this year, we also published a special issue of our Hands-on Learning Publication in which we explored approaches, opportunities and lessons for scaling-up ECD provision in South Africa. We think this document provides a useful background read for those who are wanting to know more.