The Centre for Early Childhood Development facilitates several Integrated ECD Programmes throughout South Africa by providing ECD centers with a range of support services including teacher training, equipment provision, building upgrades, governance training, and outreach programs to parents and the community. CECD has a footprint in all provinces and works directly with about 300 ECD centers and about 30,000 children. Partner ECD centers remain autonomous and the Integrated ECD Programme provides a supportive role rather than a prescriptive one. This allows each ECD center to tailor its own offerings and maximize it impact. Trained field workers from the Centre for Early Childhood Development work alongside each ECD center's governing body, principal, and teachers to enhance the center's operations.
The Integrated ECD Programme also assists in registering each ECD center with provincial authorities and helps it to access provincial ECD subsidies, both of which are critical to sustain the function of each individual ECD center and ensure that all operation costs are covered. The aim of the Integrated ECD Programme is to help ECD centers transition "from subsistence to sustainability." In terms of pedagogical support, emphasis is placed on early literacy and language development, which provides young children at ECD centers with good language foundations to support their ability to learn to read and write in the future. Regular teacher and parent workshops are also facilitated to provide information on the importance of early literacy and how this can be incorporated and implemented both by teachers in the classroom and parents in the home environment.
In the Cape Town area, the Gugulethu branch of the Integrated ECD Programme provides 90 ECD centers in the area with support services, while the Lavender Hill branch provides services to 40 ECD centers.
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CEI approaches in action
- CECD has a footprint in all provinces and works directly with about 300 ECD centers and about 30,000 children.
- Most partner ECD centers have 5 teachers who are individually trained.
There are many branches of the Integrated ECD Programme. It has been replicated in Paarl, Wellington, Mitchell's Plain, and Khayelitsha, among other communities.
As donor funding becomes available, the Centre for Early Childhood Development intends to expand into new communities, especially peri-urban and rural communities.
Monitoring & Evaluation
The Centre for Early Childhood Development monitors results through data-driven performance evaluations. To monitor progress, the program uses the internationally recognized ECERS (Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale).