Early Childhood Development


By definition Early Childhood Education (ECD) incorporates the 0 - 9 years. At SDU we work with early years teachers and NGO partners who offer programmes in the 5 – 9 (Grade R – 3) years. 


To redress the effects of poverty and reverse the stubborn trend of educational underachievement in South Africa by
providing the right foundations for learning in the early primary years and before children begin formal schooling.


To provide quality education programmes to teachers in primary schools, pre-schools and in community Educare sites. Add text.


The focus of our work is teachers in the Foundation Phase, from Grade R to 3. We offer courses, site-based support and classroom mentoring, and provide resources to enhance the learning environment for Language and Mathematics learning and teaching.

Early Childhood Development Conference 16, 17 March 2017

Sue Bailie attended an ECD Conference on the 16th and 17th March. This was a collaboration between PRAESA, UNICEF, The Froebel Trust,the Department of Higher Education & Training, and the Centre for Early Childhood Development. 

The ECD sector is intensifying its work to offer appropriate curriculum delivery. Considerations about what decolonising education might mean in practice, are taking place across the education sector. Central to this is appreciating and experiencing how young children learn, and recognising which foundations give rise to high-quality early education in diverse settings. It is this which enables informed curriculum interpretation, and implementation which is culturally relevant, flexible and affordable. 

Workshops included:

  •  Observations and schemas with Stella Louis and Mandisa Nakani 
  •  Nature with Georgie McCall and Peter Hadebe 
  •  Gifts and occupations - foundations for mathematics with Tina Bruce, Xoliswa Lucia Ndhove and Magdeline Selloane Mdladla
  •  Storytelling and early literacy with Sara Stanley and Nolubabalo Mbotshwa 
  •  Emergent writing with Carole Bloch 


The South African Early Childhood Review 2016

We received a copy of the review in May 2016 that was developed by Ilifa Labantwana, the Children’s Institute at UCT and the Department for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation s(DPME) in the Presidency. This review presents a set of indicators to support inter-sectoral planning, delivery and monitoring of an essential package of of Early Childhood Development (ECD) services, from conception to age 6. The essential package consists of services that are a necessary pre-condition for the realisation of young children’s Constitutional rights.

The review includes data and commentary on over 40 carefully selected indicators on the status of children under six, and service delivery progress across 5 domains:

•  maternal and child health,

•  nutritional support,

•  support for primary caregivers,

•  social services and grants, and

•  stimulation for early learning.