What is early childhood development?

Early childhood development (ECD) is a comprehensive approach to programmes and policies for children from birth to seven years of age. Its purpose is to protect the rights of children to develop their full cognitive, emotional, social and physical potential. The Department of Basic Education is responsible for children in grades R.

The National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy [PDF] is aimed at transforming early childhood development service delivery in South Africa, in particular to address critical gaps and to ensure the provision of a comprehensive, universally available and equitable early childhood development services.