A solid educational foundation in the early years of schooling is essential in order to lay the foundations for future academic success. In South Africa, preschool education is provided through ECE (early childhood education) facilities and programmes that are mostly informal and unregulated, however there has been much recent policy and curriculum activity in the ECE sphere. The National Development Plan (NDP), released in 2012, recognises the key role played by ECE in cognitive, social and physical development and the National Curriculum Framework: For children birth to four years (NCF) is a response to challenges that the ECE sector is facing. The NCF builds on the desired results for children in this age cohort and flows into the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) which is taught in schools from Grade R.
Playful Early Childhood Care and Education: from birth to four years supports teachers and caregivers in providing playful teaching and learning guidelines for children from birth to four years of age. It offers a creative and responsive curriculum for early childhood care and education, based on a pedagogy of play, and includes suggestions for involving parents, grandparents, care givers and the broader community.
About the editors:
Lorayne Excell headed up the Foundation Division at the Wits School of Education. Her specialisation and research interests are in early childhood education. Lorayne has worked extensively with Vivien Linington over the last 15 years training Grade R practitioners, researching the early childhood education field and actively promoting what is now termed the ‘pedagogy of play’.
Vivien Linington lectures at the Wits School of Education and Varsity College. Her two fields of interest are early childhood education and educational theory. Together with Lorayne Excell she has researched and published in areas such as social justice, professional teacher development, the importance of high-quality early childhood education as well as the central role of play.