The Thrive by Five Index

South Africa’s first Early Childhood Index measures the proportion of children aged 50-59 months across all 9 provinces who are developmentally “on track” for their age in key areas of development. The Index will be used to report on South Africa’s progress towards achieving the Sustainable Develop

The Thrive by Five Index was initiated by First National Bank and Innovation Edge, in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education (DBE) with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and ECD Measure.

This is the largest survey of preschool child outcomes ever attempted in South Africa.

The ELOM tools were selected by partners as the most appropriate tools to use for the Index because they have been locally standardised, are available in all 11 official languages, can be used at scale and are relatively affordable to administer.

Data collection took place between September and November 2021 and included assessments of more than 5000 children aged 50 to 59 months, enrolled in over 1200 early learning programmes across the country. Children were assessed on the ELOM 4 & 5 Years Direct Assessment and the ELOM Social-Emotional Rating Scales. In addition, the quality of 522 learning programmes from all provinces was assessed using the ELOM Learning Programme Quality Tool.

The launch of the Thrive by Five Index coincided with the April 2022 function shift for ECD from the Department of Social Development to the Department of Basic Education (DBE). The Index therefore provides DBE with a baseline measure of preschool child outcomes at the point of transition, and an indication of the quality of early learning programmes. This baseline will guide DBE’s initial efforts at improving access and quality of early learning programmes.

Data collection for the Thrive by Five Index will be repeated every three years so as to be able to track trends over time.

Index data will also be used to report on South Africa’s progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal related to ECD 4.2.1: The proportion of children under 5 years of age who are developmentally on track in health, learning and psychosocial well-being, by sex.

The full Thrive by Five dataset is available for download on the UCT DataFirst portal here.

Download the full Thrive by Five technical report here.

Download the Thrive by Five summary report here.

Watch a video about the Thrive by Five Index below or access further information, analysis, and knowledge products on the Index website

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