The Gauteng Department of Education Early Childhood Development Institute has endorsed Edutainers® in an official letter from their director.
Download the official letter here or read below.
Early childhood is a crucial time in our lives. It is a time when, ideally, children are nurtured physically, mentally and spiritually. Their experiences in each of these dimensions shape their lives. A child whose health, wellbeing and intellect are protected and stimulated has a strong platform for a happy, successful and balanced life.
Many parents in our province, rich and poor alike are able to provide such a platform for their children. We all know parents with little education whose love and care give their children the strength to succeed at school and beyond. But the reality is that poverty is a powerful inhibiting factor for many. The struggle to survive in an economy that is still in transformation makes it difficult for many to give their children the care they need, and many families in our province do not have adults at their head to take on this crucial responsibility. The background research that underpins the Gauteng ECD Strategy shows that enduring poverty from our apartheid legacy makes access to early childhood development services difficult, and in particular access to quality provision is negatively affected in environments in which poverty and unemployment are highest.
In November 2004, the Cabinet at national level set the scene for the integration of ECD activities, proposing the establishment of a coordinating structure within government to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to improve ECD provision. This national approach was endorsed by the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG), which developed the integrated GPG ECD strategy in Gauteng, taking into account the different inputs that each department and local government will make in support of our objectives for children. The strategy also defines the role that the Early Childhood Development Institute (ECDI) – The Early Childhood Development Institute.
The ECD Institute (ECDI), currently located within the Gauteng Department of Education, will become a stand-alone entity and a powerful support structure to ensure that ECD services are experienced in an integrated manner at ECD sites. Its new, distinct functionality is to enhance integration of ECD services despite the differentiated, specialised functions of the various role players. The roles of the ECDI are summarised below:
- Mapping, monitoring and feedback for increased access and quality
- Information to the public at multiple levels
- Research and evaluations
- Secretariat for consultation processes
- Secretariat for quality management
- Secretariat for streamlining of the regulatory framework
The Provincial EXCO, that requested that an Integrated Plan for ECD be developed to expedite the implementation of the GPG ECD Strategy. A Provincial Cabinet Memo, July 2010 was then signed to approve the Integrated Plan (Find attached).
Since the inception of the ECDI, the following achievements have been attained and in progress:
- The ECDI has embarked on a Province wide Verification and Mapping of all ECD sites/Centres in Gauteng –this will enable the Province to identify the needs to support ECD sites/centres.
- The ECDI, in partnership with all relevant departments is in the process of establishing an integrated data mart to access all relevant ECD information in Gauteng
- The ECDI has appointed a service provider to develop a Pre-Grade R Curriculum (0-4 years), to improve the quality teaching and learning of ECD sites and also to ensure uniformity across the Province
- The ECDI, in partnership with The Emergency Services of City f Joburg, has adapted a Learn Not to Burn Programme for Learners with special needs. This was piloted a School for Learners with Special Needs; The Gateway. The Programme has now been extended to 6 other Special Needs Schools.
- In 2009/10 2000 ECD Practitioners were trained, of which 1560 completed the NQF level 1 course successfully. The ECDI, The GET/IDS Directorate in partnership with The Matthew Goniwe School of Leadership and Governance is currently training 1940 ECD practitioners on NQF Level 1 and Level 4.
- UNICEF assisted the ECDI with funding to develop an Integrated Monitoring Framework and Evaluation Tool for ECD Services in Gauteng. The Framework and Tool has been finalised and printed. A small scale pilot is underway, in the Ekurhuleni Municipality.
- The ECDI in partnership with all the universities in Gauteng held a very successful ECD INDABA, in the form of a conference, October 2010. 300 participants attended, ranging from Practitioners, to Academics to resource and training organisations and other interested stakeholders.
- The following forums have been established and meet quarterly:
- NGO Forum
- University Forum
- Municipality Forum
- Two (2) ECD Awareness Campaigns have been held in the Roodepoort Municipality and West rand Municipality
I would like to motivate and encourage the approval of the ECD Edutainers®, to ensure that Early Childhood Education is enhanced, accessible and the acceptable quality standards are attained to improve the health and well being of our little children in Gauteng.