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World Drowning Prevention Day – “Anyone Can Drown No-One Should”, Says WHO

25 July 2022


World Drowning Prevention Day (25 July) was created through a UN resolution on drowning prevention in 2021, acknowledging the issue for the first time in its 75-year history. According to the latest estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO), drowning is the cause of 235,000 deaths globally every year.

WHO notes: “More than 90% of drowning deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries, with children under the age of five being at highest risk. These deaths are frequently linked to daily, routine activities, such as bathing, collecting water for domestic use, traveling over water on boats or ferries, and fishing. The impacts of seasonal or extreme weather events – including monsoons – are also a frequent cause of drowning.”

WHO states that most drowning-related deaths are preventable, through evidence-based, low-cost solutions, such as:

  • installing barriers controlling access to water
  • providing safe places away from water such as crèches for pre-school children with capable childcare
  • teaching swimming, water safety and safe rescue skills
  • training bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation
  • setting and enforcing safe boating, shipping and ferry regulations
  • improving flood risk management

Further ReadingPrevent Drowning


Why we need to ditch computers in EYFS

12 July 2022


So, what did we do? It may appear drastic, but we completely removed the computers from the classroom. Two years later, we don’t miss them.

Our children are exposed to technology; we have an information and communications technology suite, where we can take small groups of children for more focused teaching. We also have a range of activities that ensure technology enhances, rather than hinders, learning.

One of the most effective, simple strategies I use a lot is to draw on technology for research when supporting learning and link this back to their play…

Further ReadingDitching Computers in EYFS

Local News

Early learning programmes a must for children

09 August 2022


Over 1 000 parents, caregivers and children gathered for a family day event in Ceza, Ulundi in KwaZulu-Natal to celebrate Nelson Mandela Day on Monday.

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi opened the event and emphasised the power of education. Hosted by early learning non-profit SmartStart, with support from implementing partners, Little Elephant Training Centre for Early Education (LETCEE) and Training and Resources in Early Education (TREE), the event highlighted the importance of early learning for children aged three to five years old.

KwaZulu-Natal has the highest percentage of children in the country who are currently not accessing early learning, according to Stats SA. Studies have shown that access to quality early learning plays a significant role in whether a child grows to achieve their full potential. In particular, the first five years of a child’s life are crucial to developing social, cognitive, emotional and language skills that form the foundations for learning, school performance and overall life success.

Further ReadingEarly Learning Programmes a must for children


WC Education to assist unregistered ECD centres

06 July 2022


Cape Town – The Western Cape Education Department (WCED) hopes to assist the growing number of unregistered Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres through its Vangasali campaign to improve children’s safety.

The sector migrated three months ago from the Department of Social Development to the Department of Basic Education.

A census conducted last year revealed that more than 3 200 of the 4 896 centres found in the province are unregistered and not eligible for the subsidies.

Vangasali is a campaign which started in 2020 with the intention to get all the centres registered.

There are three phases to the project. The first was to find and count all registered and unregistered sites. The second was to categorise them into gold, silver or bronze status and the third was to intervene or assist with registration.

The WCED is in the last stage of assisting sites to register.

Further ReadingAssisting Unregistered Centres


Is your child safe at crèche? Five effective ways to screen childcare facilities

01 August 2019


Every parent wants to be sure that their child is well-taken care of while they’re at work. And, while finances determine the quality of childcare available, finding the right place for your child is crucial.

A crèche or preschool plays a critical and vital role in the development of your children’s potential. Educational psychologist Dr Joseph Seabi says, “A crèche should be structured to encourage cognitive, emotional, educational and social development from early childhood.”

This is why it’s important to ensure that we send our kids to safe, nurturing environments where their welfare, learning and protection are a priority. The known viral video of a preschool teacher beating up a little girl for vomiting shows that some teachers are not fit to be in the positions they hold.

As a parent, it is a wake-up call to not trust too easily, and to be meticulous in screening these facilities. The onus is on you to check if teachers have no criminal records, are mentally stable and aren’t a danger to your children. Here’s how to effectively evaluate childcare facilities as well as what you should never compromise on.

Further ReadingThe Best Creche

New early childhood care and education publication to launch

26 July 2022


Cape Town – The South African Research Association of Early Childhood Care and Education (SARAECE) will launch its first e-publication by bringing together an array of voices within the sector (on 09 August).

“Voices from the Early Childhood Care and Education Field in South Africa: Research and Promising Practices for New Directions”, was borne out of the SARAECE conference held in July 2021.

The e-publication will be launched on Tuesday, at the Cape Town Museum of Childhood, 3 Milner Road, Rondebosch.

The book consists of 32 articles by 32 lead authors with an additional 41 authors and five editors.

The authors are a combination of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) principals, teachers, researchers, academics, non-profit organisation directors and programme managers.

Further ReadingNew Book


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