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Picture: 123RF/RAWPIXEL
Picture: 123RF/RAWPIXEL

“If we are to break the cycle of poverty, we need to educate the children of the poor.” – President Cyril Ramaphosa, State of the Nation 2018

Working mums are more prominent in the current modern family unit, but early-childhood development benefits the growth of children in their most formative years.

A 2016 article by Stats SA highlighted the importance of early-childhood development as well as the number of children who could benefit from it.

Key points included:

  • “The first 1,000 days in a child’s life could hold the key to unlocking his/her lifelong potential. By the age of five, almost 90% of a child’s brain will be developed. These are the formative years where factors such as adequate healthcare, good nutrition, good quality childcare and nurturing, a clean and safe environment, early learning and stimulation will, to a large extent, influence his/her future as an adult.”
  • “According to a new report released by Stats SA based on the findings of the General Household Survey data, early childhood development in SA, 2016, there were close to 7.2m children aged 0–6 in SA in 2016. The report focuses on the latest evidence in early childhood development of children aged 0–6.”

During these years, external factors play a pivotal role in moulding a child’s behaviour pattern. Cognitive processes and social interaction influence mental and emotional development.

But despite the urgent need for educare, SA must still overcome the hurdle of accessibility. A lack of cooperation between the public and private sphere has prevented the adequate provision of services in preparatory schools.

Another major factor is affordability, creating an issue for parents who want to send their kids for educare but simply cannot afford it. Costs are not regulated and, as such, are often high. A lack of trained staff and unregistered creches are other issues to be addressed.

Picture: SUPPLIED/INTEC COLLEGE
Picture: SUPPLIED/INTEC COLLEGE

INTEC College offers comprehensive programmes in childcare that will enable you to play a role in mentoring and training children to become responsible adults. Studying these programmes will certify you as a childcare professional and give you the skills and knowledge to establish your own daycare facility that complies with the rules set out by the department of social development.

Proper accreditation and compliance with the law are essential in choosing a reliable childcare body. The demand for teachers qualified in early-childhood development has been a major stumbling block in the education sector.

INTEC College aims to empower individuals with its programmes in early-childhood development. Qualified individuals will help alleviate many of the issues that have been highlighted. Children will instead have access to quality education, and a greater number of educare facilities will be created.

The long-term positive, holistic and educational benefits will leave an indelible mark on the lives of many children.

Current trends do not project much of a change in 2019. The rapid advance in technology has yet to affect South Africa’s teaching sphere. Infrastructure and financial hurdles are yet to be overcome before fully fledged technological innovation can be adopted.

However, a recent article by IT News Africa says: "The future of education is technology-driven. Digital teaching and learning platforms will play a critical role in making education not only a success but [also] more accessible and effective. Government should start collaborating with edtech companies from the private sector to equip our nation with critical skills."

What does this mean for the child?

Qualified teachers are mandated to ensure that children are mentored and coached to improve learning capacity. A well-grounded teaching environment is created by teachers who have a passion for what they do.

Communication

Interpersonal and social skills are greatly improved as children interact with each other. This early socialisation influences behavioural patterns as the importance of discipline and etiquette is taught.

Education

A change in behaviour creates a receptive attitude to education. Children who attend creche from a young age are often equipped with greater emotional intelligence and the confidence to adapt to different situations or conflict. Literacy and numeracy skills are enhanced, and digitised learning helps create an interest in education.

The benefits of pursuing an INTEC programme in early childhood development will ensure you create a career and change lives. You will play not just the role of mentor, teacher and guide, but also help shape better adults, active citizens and responsible individuals.

This article was paid for by INTEC College.