A very vibrant and participatory meeting of the Eastern Cape Early Childhood Development Forum was held on 13 April 2016 at ITEC.
We discussed the soon-to-be published National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy, which was approved by Cabinet in December 2016 and should be publicly available shortly. The policy provides for a Comprehensive Package of services for all young children in the longer term, with Essential Components that must be provided in the short to medium term. The Policy reflects the worldwide understanding that our experiences during our earliest years affect our future lives profoundly, and that positive experiences have the potential to transform society for the better.
We were also excited to be involved in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality’s development of their new Child and Youth Strategy. For the first time, this will include a strong focus on the needs and rights of the youngest children. May this be the start of putting young children first in every Municipality in the province!
The University of Fort Hare also had wonderful news to share. In honour of the University’s centenary, the Nelson Mandela Institute for Education and Rural Development is holding a Children’s Festival that will focus our attention on children, education and our multilingual future. Much of the Festival will focus on the language and literacy development of the youngest children.
The University is also making great strides in promoting development during early childhood. The UFH ECD Centre of Excellence has completed the first year of planning, and aims to provide a transdisciplinary focus for innovation, teaching and learning, research, and community engagement.
Documents from the meeting are available for download on our ECD Forum Meeting page. The next meeting will be on 20 July, 2016.