To celebrate National Children’s Day, we’ve put together a few quotes on the importance of our country’s youngest citizens.

 

“Little moments, over and over, mold our children’s foundation, a cache of learning that they will pass on to their children.” June Cotner

Simple loving connections between the child and caregiver are some of the best ways to nourish a child’s growing brain. Think of every child as a sponge – they absorb information around them at amazing speeds. The most rapid period of development occurs in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life and the quality of relationships and experiences had during this time sets the foundation for lifelong learning and behavior. Whenever one plays, sings, reads or tells a story to a child, they are making a big difference in their growth, development and future potential.

 

“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Dr. Seuss

In a world where children are often overlooked and where their voices sometimes go unheard, it’s important to remember that they too – like adults – have rights and need to know that their feelings are valid.

 

Our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation.” Nelson Mandela

Unemployment in South Africa currently stands at over 27%. About 4 out of 5 Grade 4 learners cannot read for meaning. The most opportune time to change the trajectory of a child’s life and reverse these statistics is during their first six years of life. Quality Early Childhood Development programmes are not just a smart investment in the mental, physical and social well-being of children but also drivers of their socio-economic, educational and health status in the future. Nobel Laureate, James Heckman has written extensively on the benefits of investing in early childhood development.

 

“Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn. ” O. Fred Donaldson

Playing lays the foundation for early literacy skills. As children watch, listen, explore and imitate – they expand their vocabulary. It is also through play that children develop important life skills such as exercising imagination, creativity and risk-taking.

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