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SOCA: Mayor gives priority to early childhood development Print E-mail
03 May 2017
ECD

The City of Johannesburg was committed to ensuring that the educational foundation of its young citizens received top priority, Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba said in his maiden State of the City Address (SOCA) today (Wednesday May 3).

Mashaba launched the revamped Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme in November 2016, four months after taking over the reins as Mayor.

The programme, an extensive public-private partnership with the Hollard Foundation, seeks to improve ECD services on offer throughout the city.

The programme is targeted at the most underprivileged wards in the city.

Growing up in poverty I knew that education was the greatest tool I could use to free myself from [its shackles]. We need interventions to provide young children from disadvantaged backgrounds with quality care, allowing their parents to pursue work opportunities knowing that their children are in a safe learning environment.

As a local government, we are aware of the fact that basic and tertiary education falls outside our constitutionally defined competencies. However, where we can make a difference – and where we will make a difference – is in the field of early childhood development,” said Mayor Mashaba.

Under the new ECD programme, about 400 non-compliant ECD centres will be assisted to ensure they comply with land-use by-laws. An additional 6 000 children are planned to be enrolled for the ECD programme by June 2017.

Mashaba said the programme also had a target to train 3 800 ECD practitioners “by June 2017, which will provide them with the necessary skills training to ensure quality learning for our children”.



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