Finding children not in ECD

What will happen if we track down every child not attending Early Childhood Development (ECD) and spread the word about how important early learning is?

Through our partnership with the YES program, 20 young interns were trained and assigned to work as fieldworkers in June of this year in Winnie Madikizela Mandela Municipality (Wards 14 & 15) in Alfred Nzo District and Umziwabantu Municipality (Ward 5) in UGU District.

Their task was to survey homes in the target locations to find out how many children under the age 5 reside there and how many of those children attend ECD centres. Our focus was also on determining the causes behind parents’ and caregivers’ not enrolling their children at ECD centres. According to data collected a total of 4460 households were visited, 95% of households volunteered to participate in the survey.

October marked the start of the pilot’s second phase once the survey was finished. First, we are focusing on children aged 3-5 years who are not enrolled in ECD. Next year, we hope to see more children enrolled in ECD centres. To that end, during their home visits, our interns demonstrate the value of early childhood development by using basic educational resources that have been provided to them. Below are some of their testimonies based on what they observed. 

Testimonies from the team

“The household that I visited today showed a very interesting dynamic. The children were not the only one’s keen on playing. The mother and grandmother of the two children also participated with a lot of enthusiasm. The session ended with the kids asking their mother to take them to creche so they can play more of the activities they played today. I felt very fulfilled seeing how just one visit of play was able to have a great impact in the lives of the children of this household”.
Nonzwakazi, Winnie Madikizela Municipality, ward 14

“The one common thing that I have witnessed to be true with caregivers is the lack of knowledge about early childhood development. A lot of them don’t really have substantial reasons for not taking their childtren to ECD except the fact that they really didn’t know why it’s important that they do. So, after making them aware through explaining and letting them participate in the activities, they come to the realization of how much they’re children are missing out on by not being in ECD.”
Sphiwo, Umziwabantu, ward 5

The interns have also been helping ECD teachers to run community awareness sessions. To learn more about the advantages of participating in an ECD programme, parents and other caregivers are invited to attend. A talk about child development and opportunity for questions & answers are on the schedule.  The ECD centre’s teachers and children demonstrate to the parents and caregivers the daily activities at the centre.

As the pilot continues to run next year, we look forward to continuing the journey of better understanding how to increase access to ECD. We are so proud of the amazing work our young interns are doing and want to extend a thank you to the YES Programme for making this work possible.


Where are you based

South Africa


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Please find our banking details below:

  • Bank Name: NEDBANK
  • Account Number: 1227862504
  • Branch Code: 198765
  • Account Type: Current Account

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Network and Helpdesk

It is possible to improve access and quality of ECD when communities, government and the private sector work together


·         Facilitate municipal ECD Network meetings to support flow of information between grassroots ECD services, government and stakeholders 

·         Provide a help desk to assist ECD centres with registration and compliance to improve child protection and access to government subsidies.