Giving praise where it is due is vital in promoting a culture of excellence.
To fulfil this mission, Sowetan, Absa and the South African Congress of Early Childhood Development (SACECD, the Office on the Rights of the Child and the Department of Education have been running the Early Childhood Development Excellence Awards every year.
The awards are aimed at improving the early childhood development sector. Registered child development centres compete yearly for the awards. This year's winners are:
l In the Practitioners' category, the winner is Masesi Winnie Nsimbini of Mpumalanga and the first and second runners-up are Bochilo Lina Maake of Limpopo and Simangele Mpumzana of KwaZulu-Natal while Elizabeth Manyane of Gauteng and Irene Pitso of North West, were given merit awards.
l The top three home-based centres are: Tinhlari Day Care Centre in Limpopo, Sinethemba Day Care Centre in Gauteng, and Makukhanye Day Care Centre in Eastern Cape.
l In the community-based centres section, the top three winners are; Ithuseng Preschool in Mpumalanga, Khulakahle David Beares ECD Centre in KwaZulu-Natal, Nelly's Day Care Centre in Gauteng, while Tirisano Day Care Centre in North West was given a merit award.
l Three care centres from KwaZulu-Natal came tops in the resource and training organisations category. The second spot was shared by Peepps ECD Training from Limpopo and Eastern Cape's Centre for Social Development.
The third spot was grabbed by Ntataise Trust from Free State. Ipopeng Early Learning Organisation from Northern Cape received a merit award. Last year a campaign was conducted to urge practitioners and owners of early childhood development sites about the importance of becoming qualified, registered and accredited.