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"If we are to break the cycle of poverty, we need to educate the children of the poor." - President Cyril Ramaphosa, SoNA 2018

Following the president's State of the Nation address, two years of early childhood development has been compulsory in an effort to overcome poverty, unemployment and inequality. This applies to all South African children between 4-5 years of age and will be implemented before Grade 1 schooling begins.
*A 2016 article by Statistics South Africa highlighted the importance of Early Childhood Development as well as the number of children who could benefit from it.

Key points included:

‘The first one thousand days in a child’s life could hold the key to unlocking his/her life-long potential. By the age of 5, almost 90% of a child’s brain will be developed. These are the formative years where factors such as adequate healthcare, good nutrition, good quality childcare and nurturing, a clean and safe environment, early learning and stimulation will, to a large extent, influence his/her future as an adult’

‘According to a new report released by Statistics South Africa based on the findings of the General Household Survey data, Early Childhood Development in South Africa, 2016, there were close to 7,2 million children aged 0–6 in South Africa in 2016. The report focuses on the latest evidence in early childhood development of children aged 0–6.’ 

It is during these years that external factors play a pivotal role in moulding a child’s behaviour pattern. Mental and emotional development is influenced by cognitive processes as well as social interaction. Despite the urgent need for Educare, South Africa still must overcome the hurdle of accessibility. A lack of co-operation between the public and private sphere has prevented the adequate provision of services in preparatory schools.

Another major factor is affordability, creating an issue for parents who want to send their kids for educare but simply cannot afford it. Costs are not regulated and as such are often expensive.

The lack of trained staff and unregistered creches is another issue that needs to be addressed.

INTEC College offers comprehensive programmes in Childcare that will enable you to play a role in mentoring and training children to become responsible adults. Studying these programmes will not only certify you as a Childcare professional but ensure you possess the necessary skills and knowledge to establish your own day-care that is compliant with the rules set out by the Department of Social Development.

Proper accreditation and compliance with law is essential in choosing a reliable childcare body. The demand for teachers who possess a qualification in Early Childhood Development has been a major stumbling block in the education sector.

INTEC College aims to empower individuals with our programmes in Early Childhood Development. Qualified individuals will help alleviate many of the issues that we have highlighted. Children will instead have access to quality education, and there will be a greater number of educare facilities created.

The long term positive benefits will thus leave an indelible mark on the lives of many children. These benefits are both holistic and educational.

Current trends do not project much of a change for 2019. The rapid advance in technology has yet to integrate into South Africa’s teaching sphere. Infrastructure and finances are the hurdles yet to be overcome before fully fledged technological innovation is adopted. **However, a recent article by IT News Africa mentions that: ‘The future of education is technology-driven. Digital teaching and learning platforms will play a critical role in making education not only a success but more accessible and effective. Government should start collaborating with EdTech companies from the private sector to equip our nation with critical skills’

What does this mean for the child?


Qualified teachers are mandated to ensure that children are mentored and coached to improve learning capacity.

A well-grounded teaching environment is created by teachers who have a passion for what they do 

Communication


Interpersonal and social skills are greatly improved as children interact with each other. This early socialisation influences behavioural patterns as the importance of discipline and etiquette is taught. 

Education


A change in behaviour creates a receptive attitude towards education. Children who attend creche from a young age are often equipped with greater emotional intelligence and the confidence to adapt to different situations or conflict. Literacy and numeracy skills are enhanced, and digitised learning helps create an interest in education. 

The benefits of pursuing an INTEC programme in Early Childhood Development not only will ensure you create a career but change lives. You will play not just the role of mentor, teacher and guide, but be a part of the process of helping shape better adults, active citizens and responsible individuals.

* Source: statssa website https://bit.ly/2MKfKI0

**Source: ITnewsAfrica website https://bit.ly/2yVwtQk

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