Supporting Early Childhood Development

team and sponsors

The education of pre-school children is essential to South Africa’s future because it breaks the cycle of poverty by giving each child the skills to reach his or her full potential.  The need for more extensive Early Childhood Development (ECD) is recognized by key stakeholders throughout impoverished areas of South Africa.  ECD has been shown to directly correlate with enhanced student achievement in primary school education.  While government policies on many levels recognize the importance of ECD, there is currently no standardised system for supporting ECD programmes throughout the country.  Much of this burden has fallen on under-resourced Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s).  Extending ECD opportunities to children in informal settlements is particularly challenging. In addition to funding limitations, the effort is hampered by a limited number of crèches (nursery schools) and public facilities for ECD activities. Even if more crèches were built, many impoverished parents or guardians could not afford the crèche fees.  For these reasons, limited community participation within ECD programmes is emerging as a major concern for South Africans.

Our project was to work in conjunction with Violence and Protection through Urban Upgrading (VPUU) and Sikhula Sonke to create a detailed Emthonjeni Project Proposal that included physical elements, programmatic elements, management structure, and a costing analysis. The Emthonjeni  Outreach Programme is integrated into the urban environment of small neighbourhood centres to provide accessible ECD to all children in Monwabisi Park.

Major Products: Emthonjeni Project Proposal and Emthonjeni Implementation Plan