Policy Brief: Improving the quality of teaching and learning in South African early learning programmes

This policy brief puts forward recommendations for improving the quality of teaching and learning in South African early learning programmes, at scale.

Less than half of 4 year old children attending an early learning programme in South Africa are able to do the cognitive tasks expected of a child their age. Children who start school without the right learning foundations in place will find it difficult to cope with the Grade R curriculum, and helping these children to catch up places a massive burden on Grade R teachers.

Improving the quality of our early learning programmes must be our overall goal if we are to increase the proportion of children who are developmentally on track when they enter the Foundation Phase of schooling. While a lot of emphasis is often placed on improving things like infrastructure, the dataset tells us that relationships between children and their practitioners and between children themselves is key to promoting children’s well-being and improving early learning outcomes.

Authors: Prof. Andrew Dawes (University of Cape Town), Linda Biersteker (Independent)

Published: October 2022

Download the policy brief with recommendation on how quality of South African early learning programmes can be improved at scale here.

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