Durban, 18 August 2021: 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).
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