Young kids get attention

AFRICA'S future leaders are set to gain when the continent's parents put policy into action at the Early Childhood Development conference in Dakar, Senegal, in November.

AFRICA'S future leaders are set to gain when the continent's parents put policy into action at the Early Childhood Development conference in Dakar, Senegal, in November.

This is the Association for the Development of Education in Africa's fourth African International Conference.

It is themed From Policy to Action - Expanding Investment in ECD for Sustainable Development. It will tackle issues such as:

lConducting strong policy advocacy to expand investment in ECD;

lBringing promising parenting and child development programmes to the fore;

lInvesting in ECD towards attaining sustainable development, reducing poverty, and;

l Promoting greatly-expanded investment in services for young children aged from birth to eight years of age, and their parents - with a bias towards vulnerable children, including those from rural areas, and those affected by HIV-Aids, war and severe poverty.

The conference will run from November 10 to November 13. Finance, education, health and social services ministers will share ideas with ECD experts and other role players and stakeholders.

South Africa is arguably the only country where a thriving public-private or nation-building partnership is ensuring that ECD occupies a practical centre stage.

This is largely being attained through the Absa and Sowetan ECD Awards, in partnership with SABC Education, the national Education Department, South African Congress for Early Childhood Development and the United Nations International Children'sEmergency Fund.

The partnership enhances professionalism of caregivers, teachers and managers of ECD centres, crèches and kindergartens and the institution's infrastructure and academic development.

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