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ECDs must be the foundation for early learning<p><span aria-hidden="true"></span>​As the new school year gets underway, the City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department reminds the public not to overlook our early learning centres.</p><p><span aria-hidden="true"></span>Times and circumstances have changed in the last decade, with an understanding that there are more to crèches and play schools and what they can offer young minds, particularly in terms of cognitive development and laying a foundation for their formal schooling to follow.</p><span> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:949px;" /> </figure><p>​​There is also a growing responsibility on the shoulders of ECD operators to provide safe spaces and facilities that comply with various pieces of legislation advancing child safety, as well as a curriculum that promotes the development of the children in their care.</p></span><p>According to the National Children’s Act, which regulates standards for Partial Care Facilities, ECDs should all register with the Western Cape Department of Social Development. The City of Cape Town assists with support, educational training and legislative compliance. </p><span> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:948px;" /> </figure><p>​​Early childhood development, from birth to six years, is a critical time in every child’s life as it represents a period of rapid physical, mental and emotional growth. This is a time when children develop skills that will pave the way for lifelong learning.</p></span><p>The City therefore puts a premium on ensuring that ECDs put the safety, health and education of children first. Providing the best possible service at these facilities is a shared responsibility between the owners, carers and government. </p><p>Parents should also ensure that centres where they enroll their children are registered and have the child’s development at heart.</p><span> <figure class="subtopic-fullsize-img"> <img class="responsive" src="" alt="" style="width:800px;" /> </figure><p>​​Research has shown that children who participate in ECD  programmes tend to be more successful at school, are socially more competent and show better verbal, intellectual and physical development.</p></span><p>In addition, ECD programmes can also enhance school readiness and related outcomes such as improved enrolment, retention and academic performance.</p><p>The City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department is working closely with the 12 Registration Service Providers (appointed by the Western Cape Department of Social Development) to assist unregistered ECD centres by referring them to officials in the City’s Land Use Planning, Environmental Health and Fire Safety Departments. </p><p>In addition, the City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department offers the following basket of services to ECDs:</p><ul><li>training and capacity building with ECD practitioners, caregivers and parents</li><li>conducting regular surveys/audits on registered and unregistered ECD centres </li><li>assistance for non-complying ECDs </li><li>the construction of ECD facilities that meet planning, health and fire safety requirements – these are leased to private operators</li></ul><p>We would like to assure parents that the City does everything possible to ensure compliance with standards as set out in legislation. However, parents too should familiarise themselves with the provisions of the Children’s Act and report any concerns to the Western Cape Department of Social Development or the City’s Call Centre on 0860 103 089.</p><p>To those parents whose children are starting their ECD career, we wish you all the best and encourage you to be part of your child’s growing years and to take pride in their achievements.</p><p><br><strong>End</strong></p>2020-01-16T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#5fb0fd45-1240-41c9-aaeb-627cbd4a11ab;L0|#05fb0fd45-1240-41c9-aaeb-627cbd4a11ab|Health;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#3eb252b9-e091-4505-a46a-b6295fa65c8a;L0|#03eb252b9-e091-4505-a46a-b6295fa65c8a|Early Childhood Development;GP0|#ea139b18-ad54-46f1-aa19-e5c04e4dcaf3;L0|#0ea139b18-ad54-46f1-aa19-e5c04e4dcaf3|social development1

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