Early Childhood Development (ECD) has been recognized as one of the most powerful tools of breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty in South Africa. Research conducted on ECD demonstrates that children who participate in well-conceived ECD programs tend to be more successful in school, are more competent socially and emotionally, and show higher verbal and intellectual development during early childhood than children who are not enrolled in high-quality programs.
However, very few South African children are exposed to quality early childhood education. In a country with nearly six million children under the age of four, only about 1.5 million children up to the age of five attend formal early childhood development centers with adequate infrastructure and facilities (Minister of Social Development at a symposium at the University of Fort Hare in 2016).
In most cases, poverty is the reason why so many children are left behind in terms of their physical, intellectual and emotional development. This impacts on their school performance and ultimately, on their adult lives. Too many children are going to basic daycare that offers no real stimulation. Many others simply stay home until they go into Grade R. This is a problem, particularly in rural and poverty-stricken areas. Due to poverty, these children are being deprived of the opportunity to develop in line with their peers and this has a lifelong impact.
GIVING CHILDREN A GREAT HEADSTART
In a bid to give the nation's children a better start in life, Tirisano Children’s Trust is launching the Adopt A ECD campaign, which urges individuals and organisations to step in to help address the problem.
Tirisano Children’s Trust is a not-for-profit, development organization established in Johannesburg in November 2018 to mobilize resources and to promote and support sustainable children development initiatives.
Our primary mandate is to contribute to the improvement of ECD standard in poor communities by working to support food security and infrastructure at ECD sites and strengthening the institutional, leadership and management capacity of ECD sites.
Big or small, every contribution helps us in our work to improve the quality of life and learning for young children living in South Africa’s under-resourced communities.