Worcester Standard Article 1 On Early Childhood Development April 2017


LOVE, PLAY TALK is the name of a new radio programme on Valley FM that will be aired EVERY TUESDAY from 10 to 10.30am. Each week Valley FM will host a guest speaker to deal with a different topic to support you, the parent of a young child, give your child the best start in life. You can also get information from the Valley FM website www.valleyfm.co.za or the Ilifa Labantwana website www.ilifalabantwana.co.za . Watch this space to find out when Valley FM will start broadcasting LOVE, PLAY, TALK.

In March the Ilifa Labantwana team trained Valley FM radio presenters Ms Catherine Wiese, Mr Alexander Titus and Ms Anette Steyn on the critical importance of early childhood development and radio programming for parents of young children. Key early childhood stakeholders were invited to participate and make their debut as guest speakers on the Valley FM ‘LOVE, PLAY, TALK’ radio show.

The following people attended:
• Ms Adriane Petersen and Ms Kelly Scott from Department of Health
• Ms Ansie Visagie from Department of Social Development
• Ms Ronel Pienaar from Grassroots – an ECD NPO involved in training and resourcing early childhood development teachers
• Ms Sheiyaam Meyson and Ms Liziwe Ndayada from FCW – the Foundation for Community Work that facilitates a home visiting programme for parents of young children
• Lydine Lewis, Mozaina Sahabodien and Cynthia Letsika – Principals of community based ECD (Early Childhood Development) centres
• Dominee Jan Ungerer from the Dutch Reformed Church that is facilitating the SmartStart Playgroup programme.

The future of your family, your community and our nation starts when a child is conceived!

While a child inherits certain characteristics from mum and dad, it’s the child’s environment that shapes whether or not that child achieves his or her potential. This has been conclusively proved by research from all over the world. In fact neuroscience researchers have proved that up to 90% of brain growth and development takes place before the age of 3. So early childhood, especially the First Thousand Days from conception to age 2, is a unique and critically important period of life.

What it says is that your child’s future is in your hands and you can literally shape your little one’s ability to have a happy, successful life! That’s why we need to ensure that our little ones get the best possible start in life.

So what does this best possible start look like?
• It all starts with a healthy pregnancy – an expectant mum who really looks after her health; goes to clinic early – before 20 weeks and for all her clinic checks and micro-nutrient supplements; eats nutritious food including lots of protein, fresh vegetables and fruit; drinks NO alcohol; does not smoke, take drugs or any medication not given to her by a medical professional.
• Mum breastfeeds from birth and exclusively breastfeeds until baby is 6 months old. Breastmilk is not only the best possible food for baby, it also protects baby from disease. Exclusive breastfeeding means giving baby ONLY breastmilk – nothing else – not even water. Speak to your clinic staff for advice on breastfeeding and when to introduce other foods. Research shows that breastfed babies are more intelligent than formula fed babies!
• From birth – LOVE, PLAY, TALK to your baby. This early talking stimulates baby’s brain development and is the foundation of his or her language development. Language development is the foundation of understanding, thinking, reasoning, problem solving, imagination and creativity. You can set your child up for success through your loving relationship and the quality time you spend with him or her in LOVE, PLAY, TALK.


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