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By 24 February 2020 | Categories: news

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In case you want to start the week with a bit of hope, you can file this story under ‘good things are also happening.’ The Vodacom Foundation announced today that it has revamped two Early Childhood Development centers (ECDs) in Atteridgeville township, Pretoria.

More specifically, the infrastructure of the two ECDs was overhauled, which included painting the center, fixing ablution facilities and beefing up security. As well, it included the installation of an ICT trolley solution which has 30 tablets loaded with numeracy and literacy software and the free Vodacom e-school platform, while giving each ECD centre a mobile library.

 “By upgrading the state of ECDs, we have contributed to improved sanitation and health in these facilities, factors which make for conducive and safe learning environment. Critically, the upgrade of the facilities will ensure that the ECD meets the requirements of the Department of Social Development. will give the owner and the staff access to various free training courses which will improve their skills in the area of early childhood development,” explained Takalani Netshitenzhe, Chief Officer: Corporate Affairs at Vodacom.

It is anticipated that providing training for the staff will in turn have a knock on effect, of ensuring that learners who come from these facilities will have a strong education foundation and are well-prepared for primary and high school education, she elaborated.

Addressing the importance of early childhood development, the foundation noted that according to education experts, delays in cognitive and overall development before schooling can often have long lasting and costly consequences for children, families and society.

Thus the most effective and cost-efficient time to intervene is before birth and in the early years of life, with the 1000-day window from conception to two years being highlighted as a particularly sensitive period in child development.

Netshitenzhe added that research has also shown that a quality basic education requires a range of early childhood development services interventions and programmes that support the holistic development of young children.

It s for that reason – and as a “long-standing partner of government” that the Vodacom Foundation has taken a deliberate decision to invest in early childhood development, she continued.

“This investment is a direct response to government’s Vision 2030 approach to education and President Ramaphosa’s call to make ECDs compulsory for all children before they enter Grade 1, as this is essential in equipping children to succeed in education. At Vodacom we believe that a renewed focus on ECDs will strengthen our basic education system and ensure that children are able to reach their full potential and contribute meaningfully in the growth of our economy,” she concluded.

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