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The best way to shape our country’s future is through our children, 

and the best time to shape a healthy child is early. 

The human brain is naturally wired for lifelong learning, but the brain’s capacity to absorb new information and learn new skills is most pronounced in the first 6 years of life.

Experiences in the first few hours, days, months and years of life shape deep and lasting neural pathways in the developing brain of a child, forming qualities of mind and character that will last a lifetime.

For every one of us, the quality of our early life experiences laid the foundations for who we are today.

Children who feel loved and protected; receive good healthcare and food; and are given opportunities that spark their ability to learn, are able to build strong foundations.

By enabling these strong early foundations for children, we improve their likelihood of future school success, health outcomes and employment prospects.

Acting on this knowledge presents an unmissable opportunity to significantly alter the course of South Africa, by influencing the current trajectories of our youngest citizens.

Explore the 2019 South African Early Childhood Review

The annual publication curates and analyses over 50 data indicators on Early Childhood Development (ECD). The data indicators are spread across the Essential Package of services: nutrition, maternal and child health, support for primary caregivers, social services, and stimulation for early learning.

The South African Early Childhood Review 2019 is a joint publication between Ilifa Labantwana, the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, The Grow Great Campaign, and Innovation Edge.

CLICK HERE to access the 2019  South African Early Childhood Review

For current information CLICK HERE to access the 2020 South African Child Gauge Report


Click to discover how experiences build brain architecture

This video by the Harvard University Centre for the Developing Child explains how experiences shape the process that determines whether a child’s brain will provide a strong or a weak foundation for all future learning, behaviour and health.

Understand the economic case

“The rate of return for investment in quality early childhood education is 13% per annum through better outcomes in education, health, sociability, economic productivity and reduced crime.”

– Nobel Prize winning University of Chicago Economics Professor James Heckman

To understand the gains to be had by investing in the early and equal development of human potential CLICK HERE