President Ramaphosa highlights focus on ECD in 2024 SONA

by | Feb 9, 2024 | Blog, News

In his 2024 State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Cyril Ramaphosa stated, “Over the next five years, we will direct our efforts towards expanding access to early childhood development (ECD) and enhancing early grade reading…”. The President has also previously emphasised the importance of ECD in various contexts over the years such as promoting educational equity, addressing poverty and fostering economic development.

Cape Town, 09 February – As an impact-driven investor dedicated to investing into opportunities which address early childhood challenges in South Africa, Innovation Edge is comforted with government’s stated prioritisation and acknowledgement of the urgent need for increased attention in this crucial domain.

The first six years of a child’s life shape their overall development, laying the foundation for cognitive, emotional, social, and physical well-being. These early years and the experiences they encompass are vital in defining a child’s future and the future of society as a whole.

Research has shown that children who receive quality early childhood education are better prepared for formal schooling and more likely to succeed academically, stay in school, and pursue higher education. They also demonstrate better socio-emotional skills, leading to increased chances of future career and decreased involvement in crime.

Despite significant actual and intended support being directed to ECD, it is still concerning that 55% of 4-5 year olds are not ready to thrive in Grade 1. Combined with systemic failures, challenging life experiences during their first six years reduce their present-day and future well-being.

Innovation Edge aims to improve the chances of children’s life-long success by influencing the quality of their first six years of life. We do this by providing funding and strategic guidance to entrepreneurs and social innovators who bring innovative solutions to early childhood challenges in South Africa. Through our investments, we aim to foster innovation in ECD and promote sustainable solutions that positively impact the lives of young children, especially those in low-resourced areas.

“Investing in ECD not only benefits young children but also offers multiple benefits for communities and the country at large. It is also an investment into the future of South Africa.” – Llewellyn Fredericks, Executive Director, Innovation Edge

Learn more about our work at www.innovationedge.org.za or contact us at [email protected].