Early Childhood Care and Development

All children under the age of 5 should experience a safe, stimulating and quality early living and learning environment.

The South African government has prioritised our 5.7 million children under the age of 5 as those in the greatest need with Early Childhood Care and Development as a basic focus area.

The Children’s Act defines Early Childhood Development (ECD) as encompassing ‘processes of emotional, cognitive, sensory, spiritual, moral, physical, social and communication development of children from birth to school-going age’. 

Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) is a comprehensive approach to policies and programmes that are provided to young children with the active participation of their parents and caregivers; aimed at promoting the right of a child to grow and develop.

What is Save the Children South Africa doing? 
 

Scaling up ECCD services for young children is expensive, complex and involves all three tiers of government and civil society. A holistic approach is required which ensures access for all young children to an appropriate standard of care and monitors progress. 

  • We are innovators, transforming our existing Crèches into Centers of Excellence. 
  • We speak for children by raising awareness of the challenges faced by the majority of children under 5.
  • We support government and civil society by coordinating service delivery and building partnerships with government, civil society, business, the media and communities.
  • We engage with parents, caregivers and communities to help them acknowledge their own roles and responsibilities. 
  • We take positive learnings from these initiatives into other disadvantaged and low-income communities to achieve results at scale across provinces. 

Learn more about our other Education programmes.

All children under the age of 5 should experience a safe, stimulating and quality early living and learning environment. 

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