Early Childhood Development (ECD)
  

Underpinning all of the experience we have had over the last decade in the field of education has been the critical importance of Early Childhood Development to the learning, behaviour, and health of students - and why getting things right early is simpler and more effective than trying to fix them later.
 
We have seen that an appropriate beginning makes a distinct difference through schooling and adulthood. Aware, educated, healthy people participate in and contribute easily to the financial and social wealth of their societies. Research has shown that the early years of childhood form the basis of acumen, personality traits, and social behaviour, with appropriate interaction in these early years enabling individuals to value themselves and others throughout their lives.
 
In addition, ECD research has proven that children who participate in well-conceived ECD programs tend to be more successful at school, are more competent socially and emotionally, and show higher verbal and intellectual development during early childhood than children who are not enrolled in suitable programs. Ensuring healthy child development, therefore, is an investment in a country's future workforce and capacity to thrive economically and within society.
 
Examples of exciting and effective ECD and pre-primary schooling that we believe have answers to some of the challenges in this vital sector are the award winning self-sustainable The Birches Pre-Primary School in Kwa-Zulu Natal in South Africa, Noah’s Ark in the Drakensberg where a process of self-discovery, of learning by experimentation and activities engaging all senses take place to accommodate all the learning styles, and Nella Pella near Mooiriver.