South Africa: Early Childhood Development


Over the last two decades, South Africa has sought to overcome damage done to children and families by the racially exclusive policies and programs of Apartheid. Programs and services that promote healthy development in early childhood are central to this mission. The South African government agrees: It has deemed early childhood development (ECD) a “public good” that benefits society and has put in place systems to support it.

In 2014, FrameWorks helped develop a research initiative, in partnership with UNICEF, the University of Witwatersrand, and Stellenbosch University, to develop strategic communications that build demand for a stronger national infrastructure in support of programs and services that promote ECD, particularly in areas of greatest need. These include services for children between the ages of zero and three and programs that prevent stunted growth, increase access to safe and affordable child care, and provide services to families with disabled children.

In collaboration with its partners, FrameWorks completed the first phase of this work in 2016. This work produced a strategic report that identifies cultural attitudes and beliefs about early childhood development in South Africa and explores the implications for strategic communications efforts to promote ECD programs

Early Childhood Development

Early Means Early: Mapping the Gaps between Expert, Stakeholder, and Public Understandings of Early Childhood Development in South Africa
This report compares views of early childhood development between experts in the field, members of the public, and stakeholders in policy and program implementation in South Africa. It explores the gaps and overlaps in thinking between these groups, explains the implications for strategic communications about early childhood development in South Africa, and makes recommendations to overcome communications challenges.

FrameWorks Institute