Windows of Opportunity: Early Childhood Development Prospects in South Africa

Type Journal Article - Journal of Social Sciences
Title Windows of Opportunity: Early Childhood Development Prospects in South Africa
Volume 40
Issue 2
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
Page numbers 159-168
Early childhood development (ECD) is regarded as critical for establishing the foundation for
academic success in schools. The results of the South African Annual National Assessment systemic evaluation
(ANA) register particularly poor school performance in the first three years of school in literacy and numeracy.
The question that comes up irresistibly, therefore, is whether the provision of ECD in South Africa is opening
windows of opportunity for young children, and if so, whether such windows are being opened to best advantage.
These questions will be examined through a systematic literature review by utilizing a fusion of contextual as well
as conceptual review methods which will focus on selected child development theories that are predicated on the
huge potential that every child has for self-actualisation, the latest findings on neurological research, the universal
right to education and policy development in the ECD field. These issues are mirrored against ‘care’ as the
overarching conceptual framework. It is found that the South African government seems to display a mediocre
‘caring-about’ attitude towards the provision of ECD in that it contributes funds and policies but do not see to the
implementation thereof. Several interventions are considered imperative prerequisites for immediate implementation
in order to vitalise the prospects of ECD in South Africa.

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