Publications, studies and links

Sharing the South Africa Story

Resources for volunteers

Resources for children



Campaigns and conference resources

Archived pages


10th Annual Early Childhood Development Knowledge Building Seminar 2015

10th Annual ECD Knowledge Building Seminar

The Early Childhood Development Knowledge Building Seminar is an annual platform that brings research and practice together; highlights achievements in the policy and practice arena, and also looks at the sector from all angles. This year (2015) the focus was on “Quality through play-based learning and innovation in early childhood development”.

Download the Programme [PDF] and posters [PDF] from the seminar

Download presentations:

Session 1: The Policy Session

Ngcobi Mbere, Musa (Department of Social Development): The National ECD Policy – a commitment for the best start in life for every child in South Africa [PDF] National Policy for Early Childhood Development in South Africa is at the brink of being finalised and approved. It provides a solid commitment to infants and young children in the country.

Samuels, Marie-Louise (Department of Basic Education): Quality in early learning: No business as usual [PDF] Quality is an essential ingredient for early childhood development programmes in the country. This presentation will reflect on the importance of quality in practice.

Motaung, Ruby (Department of Higher Education and Training): An ECD Qualification Policy for South Africa [PDF] An overview of the process in developing a national policy for early childhood development qualification in South Africa and what it may hold for the sector.

Worku, Seble (Statistics South Africa): It’s all in the numbers: Data on infants and young children in South Africa [PDF] The presentation will focus on the social profile of the children in South Africa, their geographical location, living arrangements, health and economic circumstances

Session 2: This you must know

Ned, Ntjantja (Hollard Foundation): Sustainable ECD provisioning: Impact created through partnerships at local government level [PDF] When a local municipality or a large metro decides to invest in its young citizens, everything becomes possible. Walk with us from The Stables, through Midvaal, to Lesedi and the City of Johannesburg…..and see the results.

Rochat, Tamsen Jean (Human Science Research Council): The Insika Yomama Intervention: A feasibility study of a behavioral activation and early parenting intervention for HIV infected, depressed pregnant women [PDF] Insika Yomama is a six-session Behavioural Activation (BA) intervention targeting perinatal depression in HIV-positive women, including an integrated parenting component. BA is effective and suitable to be delivered by non-specialist health workers with limited training in under-resourced settings.

Botes, Wezet (Child Welfare Tshwane / VP Health systems): Call To Arms: A Child Protection Manual for Early Childhood Development Centres [PDF] The Call to Arms: Child Protection Manual for ECD facilities is a step by step guide that is aimed at capacitating and empowering early childhood facilities with the needed information and skills, to identify learners at risk, capture information needed for action, report to the correct service providers and support little ones and their families exposed to child abuse. This book will empower you with the knowledge, skills and tools you need to effectively act on your legal responsibility to report child abuse. It will also provide you with the framework for your facility to comply with legislation, which will reduce the risk to your business. But most of all it will help build a safe world for children.

Session 3: Young citizen's at play

Irvine, Margaret: Parents@Play: Creative and Playful ways to encourage parents to lead the early learning of their children at home [PDF] Parents are full of resources for learning. How do we unlock these resources?

Joubert, Ina (University of Pretoria}: Learning through play - active citizenship education for young children [PDF] Democratic citizenship education related to the young child is imperative for the sustainment of democracy. As democracies seek a shared sense of nationhood children are regarded as agents for transformation. Active citizenship can be facilitated through quality play-based learning and innovation in early childhood development.

Ebrahim, Hasina (University of South Africa): Play for creativity: Implications for high quality practice [PDF] This presentation examines current understandings of play and creativity. This is followed by a discussion on what needs to be done to foreground play for creative in early childhood practice.

Session 4: There is and App for it

Pillay, Yogan (Department of Health): MomConnect: How it works and what it achieves? [PDF] MomConnect is a National Department of Health (NDoH) initiative to use cellphone SMS technology to register every pregnant woman in South Africa. Once registered the system will send each mother pregnancy stage-based messages to support her and her baby during the course of her pregnancy, childbirth and up to the child’s first birthday.

Rudge, Andrew (The Reach Trust): It’s the 21st century: ECD APP Groovy Adventurers [PDF] The Groovy Adventurers mobile application was launched in 2013 to encourage parents to stimulate their children through guided daily activities. This presentation reflects on the successes and key lessons from the past two years

Session 5: Fact finding

Taylor, Stephen and Samuels, Marie-Louise (Department of Basic Education): Reflecting on the Grade R impact evaluation [PDF] This paper describes the recent expansion of the Grade R programme in South Africa, summarises the findings from an impact evaluation of the introduction of Grade R, discusses the policy recommendations following from the evaluation, and reflects on the process of implementing the recommendations.

Rochat, Tamsen Jean (Human Science Research Council): The Amagugu Intervention: Lessons learnt from developing a family-centred, lay-counsellor driven developmentally-sensitive intervention for primary school-aged children in rural South Africa [PDF] Amagugu is a six-session home based, lay counsellor led counselling intervention targeting maternal HIV disclosure to primary school aged HIV uninfected children. Using innovative developmental materials and educational tools Amagugu has been demonstrated to increase disclosure and significantly improve children’s mental health.

van der Merwe, Mari (Save the Children South Africa): The whole is more than the sum of the parts: ECD Forums [PDF] The multifaceted, multidimensional approached used by Save the Child to engage with ECD Forums benefits the ECD centre, the ECD practitioners, the community and the young children themselves.

Mtshali, Zamazulu (KwaZulu Natal Department of Health: Nutrition Programme): Breast is best: Improving breast feeding uptake – what it takes to ensure the best start in life [PDF] Research has shown that exclusive breastfeeding contribute significantly towards child survival. In the first six months of a baby’s life, breastmilk is all the baby requires for the best start in life, for good growth and the overall health.

Victor, Anne (UNICEF Namibia) and Muchila, Cavin (Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Namibia): Reflecting on ECD policy and programmes in Namibia [PDF] Implementation of the National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy and advocacy for enhanced multi-sectoral coordination and leadership: Development of an IECD Strategic Framework for Namibia.

Session 6: Play time!

Havgaard, Per (The LEGO Foundation): Learning through play. Case for Play [PDF] The LEGO Foundation are making the case for play, because play develops the essential skills children needs to become lifelong learners. Hear how we with research and project are affecting policy and decision makers.

Surty, Basheera (Diketo Inclusive Education): A practical approach to inclusion of children with disabilities within ECD centres and programmes [PDF] Case studies on the implementation of inclusive policies within ECD centres and programmes

Manyike, Tintswalo (University of South Africa): The use of play to enhance literacy development among children in Early Childhood Development Centres [PDF] This paper investigates the development of literacy skills through play among children in Early Childhood Development Centres. Recommendations are then made to improve literacy learning among these children.

Jacobsohn, Jade (Nal’bali): The joy of stories - Nal’bali – encouraging early literacy in innovative ways [PDF] Nal’ibali is a national reading-for-enjoyment campaign that aims to spark the potential of all children through storytelling and reading. Find out more about their latest approach, Storyplay, an informal technique to help young children in their first steps towards literacy learning.

Bilbrough, Gordon (arepp:Theatre for Life): Spick and Span: learning handwashing and hygiene through theatre [PDF] No Monkey Business: Spick & Span” is a life-skills puppet show for Grade R to 3 learners, which focuses on handwashing, hygiene and healthy living as an easy and effective way to prevent illness and diseases. These shows have travelled all across the country, performing to Primary Schools in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, KwaZulu-Natal, and the Eastern and Northern Cape. This is partnership between arepp, the DBE and UNICEF

Morrison, Cynthia (A Chance to Play Southern Africa): Play should be everywhere – from grassroots up! [PDF] The Play Today Booklet shows parents through photographs that simple activities (some they are already doing) develop essential skills. Free download from the ACTPSA website. Community Play Forums strive to facilitate safe play opportunities for children’s holistic development and wellbeing.

Session 7: ECD's believe it or not

Giese, Sonja (Innovation Edge) Bringing Innovation to ECD [PDF] An overview on Innovation in the ECD and the work of the Innovation Edge.

O’Keeffe, Lucy (Ubunye Foundation): Ukongela abantwana: Building my child’s brain for a brighter future [PDF] Primary caregivers are the most influential role-players in the development of young children’s brains. We are leveraging the existing social capital platform of savings groups to empower caregivers to play an active role in growing young brains for a bright future

Swanepoel, De Wet (University of Pretoria and hearScreen): Healthy hearing for healthy learning – the hearScreen solution [PDF] Healthy hearing is the gateway to healthy learning. As many as 1 in 10 children may suffer hearing problems that affect educational outcomes. hearScreen is a smartphone innovation providing access to healthy.

Session 7: ECD-The time is now

Viviers, André (UNICEF South Africa): Around the world in 15 years: Early childhood development and the Global Sustainable Development Goals [to be uploaded soon] The Global Sustainable Development goals were adopted by world leaders in September 2015. It holds for the first time on such an global agenda major promises for young children.

Twala, Zanele (DPME, The Presidency): Imagine the future: National Development Plan: Visions 2030 and our young citizens.[PDF] National Development Plan sets out a development trajectory for the nation, and partaking in this journey are the youngest of the country’s citizens. The NDP provides a framework for planning and accountability in support of early childhood development.


Magoge, Bertha (National ECD Alliance): Reinventing the future: ECD training and the changing roles of RTO’[PDF]

Smith, Linda (Care for Education): Back to basics with 6 bricks [PDF]

Viviers, Andre (UNICEF) Advocacy in ECD [PDF]





Make a donation


 Email this article

unite for children