Early Childhood Development: How important is it?

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With South Africa’s education system currently under severe pressure, it is more important than ever before that the importance of Early Childhood Development (ECD) continues to be emphasised.   
 
Warning bells for children in Grade R rang with the publication of a 2015 study entitled “The school readiness performance of a group of Grade R learners in primary schools in the Gauteng Province of South Africa”.

Commissioned by the Gauteng Department of Education, and published in the South African Journal of Childhood Education, the study “confirmed the worst fears of department officials: most of the participants were not school ready after attending a year in a Grade R class”. 
 
Researcher Ona Janse van Rensburg concludes that while “new efforts are being made to enable all five to six-year-olds to attend a Grade R class… attention should be given to the qualifications of teachers and parents should become more involved”.

She recommends that parents be informed of the importance of principles such as perceptual abilities and skills, motor development, learning through movement and concept forming, among others.
 
So how do parents access the right information in this regard when there is so much information available? “I spent so many hours trawling the internet, trying to figure out what is age-appropriate for them and what educational activities I get to do with them,” writes blogger Charlotte Coetzee on The Stiletto Mom.

Then she discovered Mysmartkid, “the programme that does it all for you and it is so easy”. 
 
Mysmartkid has quickly become a leader in the Early Childhood Development field through its “learn through play” philosophy.

The subscription programme promotes school readiness through the use of age-appropriate toys, tools and activities and was designed with the help of a panel of experts. These experts also regularly share with parents their professional insights and expertise on what is truly important for a little one’s development.

This approach has revolutionised the way in which Early Childhood Development is promoted in South Africa.  
 
Mysmartkid General Manager Elna Harmse explains how the programme works: "Members receive a Smartbox every second month and these form a solution designed to cover the six Early Childhood Development Areas outlined by the South African Department of Education: Wellbeing, Identity, Concepts, Communication, Creativity and My World.

"Each Smartbox contains age-appropriate toys with instructions for parents as well as suggestions for activities and games that target various skills. These are all endorsed by Mysmartkid’s panel of experts to help children reach their ECD milestones."
 
"It’s no mystery why Mysmartkid is so successful. It provides a well-researched solution for busy parents who want to give their children the best start in life," Harmse concludes.
 
To join Mysmartkid or for more information visit the website, send an email or call 0861 555 224.

How did you help your child through the ECD phases? Share your thoughts, tips and advice by emailing chatback@parent24.com and we may publish your story!

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