Lessons from Leave No Young Child Behind Initiative in Nkomazi

LNYCB Strategic planning session attended by Provincial partners from Department of Health, Department of Social Development, Department of Education, SASSA, Human Settlements, Ntataise Lowveld and the DO MORE FOUNDATION

Using an innovative partnership and collaborative model, the Do More Foundation enacts the ECD Policy in South Africa and improves young children’s lives by forming collaborative private-public partnerships between businesses, governments, and civil society, which are aimed at supporting young children and families!

The South African National Integrated ECD Policy represents the commitment of the Government of the Republic of South Africa to provide quality ECD services for all young children and provides a guide for the scale of ECD services.

According to the National Integrated ECD policy collaboration, ECD partnership, collective impact and Inclusion are key in making a collective impact.

Collaboration Involves networking, cooperation and coordination, and also involves improving the capacity of partners for mutual benefit and attainment of a common purpose. – Definited by The National Integrated ECD Policy 2015

ECD partnership: An organisational framework made up of two or more partnering organisations working towards a common objective of ensuring the emotional, cognitive, sensory, spiritual, moral, physical, social and communication development of infants and young children. – Defined by The National Integrated ECD Policy 2015

Collective Impact is defined as “the commitment of a group of important actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a specific social problem” (Kramer and Winter, 2011).  

Inclusion: The process by which all children are actively welcomed and supported so that they can optimally participate and benefit from early learning and development opportunities, that are conducive to the learning of all children, and through which all children receive the necessary support to enable them to participate on an equal level with others (National Integrated ECD Policy, 2015)

 

The Leave No Young Child Behind (LNYCB) initiative, launched in 2015, has taken on the ambitious challenge of making the National Integrated Early Childhood Development (ECD) Policy a reality for real children in real communities. This initiative was recently presented at the South African Research Association for Early-Childhood Education (SARAECE) Conference by an expert on Early Childhood Development evaluation, Linda Biersteker, and the Young Child Portfolio Manager from the DO MORE FOUNDATION, Jabu Mthembu-Dlamini.

Over the past six years, the DO MORE FOUNDATION (founded by RCL FOODS) and partners have sought to implement the ECD policy in Nkomazi wards 16 and 19 to promote universal access to a comprehensive package of quality services to meet young children’s developmental rights and needs. These services include Maternal and Child Health, Stimulation of Early Learning, Parental and Caregiver Support, Early Intervention Services for Child Protection, Infrastructure and Services as well as Collaboration and Partnerships – all of which have been guided by an MOU signed by three Mpumalanga Provincial Departments mandated to implement ECD (Department of Health; Department of Social Development; and Department of Education).

DO MORE FOUNDATION team visited by international ECD experts to demonstrate how the LNYCB project is being implemented at Bantfwabetfu ECD centre in Ward 19

It is through the coordination of these services that the LNYCB initiative has allowed for children and families to access a range of much needed services more efficiently and quickly.  As stated by Linda Biersteker, “LNYCB demonstrates the significant benefits for children when different stakeholders coordinate their efforts and gives life to the goals of the National Integrated ECD Policy”.

Due to the success of the collaborative model and the impact it has had on young children in wards 16 and 19, the DO MORE FOUNDATION and local stakeholders have scaled this model to reach 6 additional wards (12 villages) and 45 more ECD programmes (ECD Centres and playgroups) in Nkomazi, bringing the total footprint to 19 villages and 70 ECD programmes.

For more information on this initiative, please contact Jabu.Mthembu-Dlamini@domore.org.za.

View the full presentation below


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