December 2021 newsletter
Impande recently did a community survey to ascertain what percentage of the child population would typically be reached through an ECD support programme. Our fieldworkers were assigned to the task and Ward 17 was selected in mBizana Municipality in the Alfred Nzo District of the Eastern Cape. This area is the poorest district in the country according to Stats SA multiple deprivation index and performs poorly (bottom 10 districts in the country) on pediatric health indicators in the district health barometer. Impande’s ECD profile data shows that only 25% of ECD centres in the area have partial care registration. The team visited every household in Ward 17 and found 2530 (households) HH’s, of whom 2232 were willing to participate. The 2232 HH’s collectively comprised 14,471 people, of whom 2113 are aged under the age of 5 (born after 1 July 2016).
The results were somewhat surprising and encouraging with almost all 4 and 5 year olds attending ECD centres. This contradicts a lot of the narrative in the ECD sector that many children never attend ECD, which is largely based around Stats SA General Household Survey (GHS) data. It is probable that the difference lies in the fact that there are so many unregistered ECD centres and it is possible that the children attending them have not been factored into stats showing percentages of children attending ECD.
In the survey, families were asked whether children in the HH under the age of 5 are currently attending an ECD centre and found the following results:
The data shows that HH’s tend to keep babies and children aged 1 and 2 years at home. The reasons given were mostly that it was felt they were too young to attend ECD. This jumps up considerably at age 3 where 44% of children are in attendance at ECD centres. Almost all children aged 4 and 5 (94% and 96% respectively) attend ECD centres.
The surveys also revealed why families choose to send their children to an ECD centre and found out that most people like to send their children because of the teaching and activities that happen at the centres. Secondary reasons included toys and learning materials and socialization.