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A new paradigm in Early Childcare Education on the South African landscape.

International News


Nine Things Day Care Center Employees Wish Parents Knew

13 September 2022

Yip. Some important things for parents to keep in mind. It’s only natural to worry, but this is why these people are in the job they are – because they care! We think this list may make a great point of discussion during parent evenings! Bounce it off the parents and hear what they have to say! It could lead to some lively debate!

Further Reading: Nine Things

How To Make EYFS Assessment More Inclusive

14 October 2022


“An inclusive approach to assessment means less data, but senior leaders need to understand that this is about educators knowing more about their children. We need to trust our professional judgement, as well as drawing on the expertise of our peers, our children’s families and other professionals who may be involved in supporting a child.


You don’t need to stop talking about children’s progress, but, instead, talk less about tracking scores. It can be a breath of fresh air to refocus efforts on teaching and learning spaces, rather than crunching the numbers.”

Yip – at PLW we agree with this approach. Assessments are important but they should be embedded within all activities and not be seen as a standalone discipline.

Further Reading: More Inclusive

Help For Child Care Educators

20 October 2022


Yes – who takes care of the carers? A family child care professional typically starts their day before dawn, caring for their own family before their little ones arrive for a day of activities and learning. Twelve hours later, the last child is picked up, and because of the safety and health measures related to the pandemic, the cleaning and disinfecting begin, only to start the routine again the next day.

This can be a punishing schedule, so no wonder that many educators suffer from burnout and other mental health issues. It’s important to understand that you cannot look after children if you are not in a good space yourself. So, be mindful to be on the lookout for the symptoms of burnout and stress.

Further Reading: Help for Educators


Early Years Are Crucial – So Let’s Focus Our Design Skills More On Nurseries

20 October 2022


This is an interesting article, not so much in terms of what one can learn from it, but rather because it highlights something that is not often discussed. This is obviously not only a problem in South Africa. World-wide we seem to have a long way to go to establish minimum standards for the built environment when it comes to educational facilities, especially for little ones. There is of course the practical trade-off between having very good learning spaces and the costs involved.

Further Reading: Design Skills

The Benefits Of Preschool

07 June 2022


Some parents grapple over whether to send their child to preschool or keep them home in their toddler years. Of course, every family has its unique circumstances and its own factors to consider when making this important decision.

While there are definitely pluses to keeping your child at home, many social workers and education experts agree that preschool offers children many lasting benefits.

In fact, children who attend high-quality preschool programs reap benefits that can last through school and their lives, according to a review of research by the Learning Policy Institute, a Palo Alto, CA, nonprofit that conducts research in the field of education policy and practice.

Further Reading: Benefits

Early Childhood Development: The Promise, The Problem, And The Path Forward

25 November 2013


This is an old article but nevertheless well-researched and accurate. It’s main premise is that there is now an expanding body of literature on the determining influence of early development on the chances of success later in life.  The first 1,000 days from conception to age two are increasingly being recognized as critical to the development of neural pathways that lead to linguistic, cognitive and socio-emotional capacities that are also predictors of labor market outcomes later in life.

Poverty, malnutrition, and lack of proper interaction in early childhood can exact large costs on individuals, their communities and society more generally.  The effects are cumulative and the absence of appropriate childcare and education in the three to five age range can exacerbate further the poor outcomes expected for children who suffer from inadequate nurturing during the critical first 1,000 days.

Further Reading: The Path Forward


Local News

President Ramaphosa Must ‘Lead From The Front’ To Improve SA’s Early Childhood Development Services

17 October 2022


There is a major flaw in the president’s information about ECD. Two years ago, in October 2020, the president made R1.3-billion available to the ECD sector as part of an ECD Stimulus Relief Fund. Today, less than 19% has actually reached the ECD sector.

The president must be informed that there is a vibrant, skilled and talented non-profit sector working in ECD. This sector has many decades of experience and highly competent individuals who are able to make ECD opportunities a reality for every young child.

The President has to lead from the front and he has to get the Department of Basic Education to work closely with the non-profit ECD sector. Very positive signs of this are emerging in the Western Cape Education Department, but our information is that the other provinces have struggled since the transition in April this year.

Our country has signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and we have an excellent National Integrated ECD Policy, which Cabinet approved in December 2015. The sad reality is that this policy is not being implemented simply because there is no political will to do so and we do not have sufficient numbers, with some exceptions, of skilled and competent public officials to drive the policy.

Further Reading: The Lead

Act Fast When Diarrhoea Strikes In Infants And Young Children

20 October 2022


Diarrhoea is still one of the leading causes of death, ill health and disability among children younger than five, accounting for 19% of deaths of under-fives in South Africa and for 46% on the African continent. Globally, diarrhoea is the second leading infectious cause of death, accounting for 9.2% of deaths in under-fives.

Further Reading: Act Fast

Municipalities Must Play Their Role In Early Childhood Development

16 October 2022


The future of South Africa’s children is being hindered by onerous, unrealistic, and unaffordable regulations about early childhood development (ECD) at municipal level, including the registration of crèches.

Registration regulations are onerous, unrealistic, and unaffordable; there is a lack of support for infrastructure development; and funding is almost non-existent. Challenges include complicated land-use requirements (zoning), excessive costs for building plans, high fees for basic services and municipal costs, as well as onerous health and safety requirements. These problems can all be fixed by local government.

Further Reading: Municipalities’ Role

Early Childhood Development Centres In SA Continue To Struggle With Registration And Access To Subsidies

27 September 2022


And in a similar vein to the previous article – the results of the Early Childhood Development Census 2021, released in May 2022, showed that only 40% of the early learning programmes assessed across the country were registered or conditionally registered with the DSD. Only 33% were receiving ECD subsidies from the department.

Across municipalities, the challenges involved in obtaining compliance with local by-laws have resulted in ECD centres operating without being registered.

Further Reading: The Struggle





Atmore, E. President Ramaphosa must ‘lead from the front’ to improve SA’s early childhood development services. 17 October 2022. Daily Maverick.

Atinc, TM and Gustafsson-Wright, E. Early Childhood Development: the Promise, the Problem, and the Path Forward. Brookings. 25 November 2013.

Author unknown. Act Fast When Diarrhoea Strikes In Infants And Young Children. 20 October 2022.

Author unknown. Unsplash image. 28 August 2022.

Clark, C. 9 things day care center employees wish parents knew. 13 September 2022. Yahoo Life.

Kilgour, S. How to make EYFS assessment more inclusive. 14 October 2022. TES Magazine.

Mantje, T. Municipalities must play their role in early childhood development. 16 October 2022. Moneyweb.

Metelerkamp, T. Early childhood development centres in SA continue to struggle with registration and access to subsidies. 27 September 2022. Daily Maverick.

Nordmeyer, L. Help for Child Care Educators. 20 October 2022. UDaily.

Raher, A. Early years are crucial – so let’s focus our design skills more on nurseries. 20 October 2022. Architects’ Journal.

Russo, B. The Benefits of Preschool. 07 June 2022. New York Family.

Sedra, M. Unsplash image. 29 September 2020.

Shirota, Y. Unsplash image. 09 January 2018.

Sung, J. Unsplash image. 12 April 2020.

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