Foundation boosts early childhood development

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

Sowetan's Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation children's development programme has an additional project.

It's called Early Childhood Development (ECD) and is an education and training programme to enhance the intellectual, social, physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and moral growth of children from birth until they are nine.

ECD is a joint effort between parents, the community and the government. Its main purpose is to protect children's rights.

Campaigns are in progress to encourage teachers, managers, ECD owners, daycare centres and creches to register with the South African Council for Educators (Sacecd). The aim is to uphold ethics, behaviour, principles and standards and to help spread ECD practices. These include guidelines such as minimum standards for daycare and after-school care centres.

Another campaign that Sowetan is driving, together with Absa and Sacecd, is a roadshow featuring professional actors, musicians, puppeteers and dancers. It is aimed at ensuring ECD public awareness and education.

The roadshow educates commuters at bus stops, taxi ranks and shopping complex parking areas about ECD best practices and ethics. It highlights the concept as a crucial base for education and training.

The roadshow is linked to a competition and recognises, acknowledges and rewards ECD excellence and individuals, groups and institutions. It ran from August until last month.

Another aspect of the campaign, which will end at the end of this month, is publishing nomination forms for the Absa, Sacecd and Sowetan ECD Excellence Awards. They will appear in Sowetan and on the Sowetan and Absa websites.

Awards will be given for resource and training organisation of the year, home-based centre or play group of the year, ECD practitioner of the year, community-based ECD centre of the year and national president award of the year. Winners will be announced in Johannesburg in February.

l Sacecd is a non-governmental organisation representing the interests of more than seven million children and workers.