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South Africa: Early Childhood Development Crucial to Country’s Goals
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Thursday, December 22, 2016
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Knowledge Management in Government, Internet Governance
Country: South Africa
Created: Dec 22, 2016

The Minister said government especially acknowledges and understands the importance of a child's first 1000 days.

“We need to ensure that every child between the ages of zero and four has access to ECD. To achieve this, as a country we have a national integrated policy on ECD which was approved by Cabinet last year.”

The National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy gives direction and facilitates the provision of a comprehensive package of early childhood development services for all infants and young children, including children with special needs, children with disabilities and other developmental challenges.

It will ensure the best possible start in life for all children and contribute to the long term prosperity of the country. The policy provides:

- An overarching multi-sectoral enabling framework of early childhood development services, inclusive of national, provincial and local spheres of government;

- A comprehensive package of early childhood development services and support, with identified essential components;

- Identifying the relevant role players, their roles and responsibilities for the provision of the various components of early childhood development services; and

- Leadership, coordination and collaboration in the delivery of early childhood development services.

Minister Dlamini said about 1 343 336 children have access to ECD and it is government’s commitment to ensure that no child is “left behind” in this regard.

“Government would like to encourage parents to take their children to ECD centres and ECD practitioners to register their centres.

“Access to ECD is another form of making sure that our children develop emotionally and cognitively while we eradicate the challenges of inequality and poverty,” said the Minister. 

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