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Improving Quality: Lessons from South Africa Southern Africa Regional Conference on ECDE Pretoria December 2013 Linda Biersteker

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Presentation on theme: "Improving Quality: Lessons from South Africa Southern Africa Regional Conference on ECDE Pretoria December 2013 Linda Biersteker"— Presentation transcript:

1 Improving Quality: Lessons from South Africa Southern Africa Regional Conference on ECDE Pretoria December 2013 Linda Biersteker

2 Public Quality Provisions Services for under 5s: Children’s Act requires programme registration (as well as facility registration for centres) Grade R (preschool year 5 – 6 year olds) registration norms and standards and funding criteria. New draft policy specifies post provisioning and phase in of Diploma or B Ed by 2019 Curriculum: Under 5s ELDS and Draft Curriculum Framework Grade R: Curriculum & Assessment Policy Statement Moves to professionalise and register practitioners working with under 5s. Those in Pre-primary registered. State supported qualifications training at Secondary and Post secondary level over last four years ZAR 335 million training budget for teachers working with under 5s in 2013/4

3 Background on quality in SA Many family and home based programmes (Home visiting, playgroups, parent education) not evaluated and/or when scaled implementation supervision often compromised Many ECD programmes and services under 5 years unregistered (can’t meet standards) Generally Grade R and centre quality not high (poorest for poor children, babies and toddlers) No incentives/ system to improve beyond basic registration level.

4 Lessons from the field 1 A Maths and Science improvement project in Grade R (preschool) classes in two districts Statistically significant changes over 3 years on ECERS-R and ECERS-E subscales

5 Training challenges The learning environment was not established …..

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7 Intervention strategies Skills Training:  Workshops ( ½ day - 5 days)  Experiential Learning  Implementation tasks Outings Site support visits (3 per year) Learning groups

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10 Lessons Needed a good basic programme in place before maths and science teaching could improve. Suitable maths and science activities and equipment were basis for improving those areas of the curriculum. Small group teaching enabled facilitation of language and reasoning Subject knowledge (especially science) is essential The role of personal growth in providing the confidence to teach was emphasised over and over again It takes time to internalise change

11 Lessons from the field 2 Local and indigenous knowledge to inform ECDE programming conferences/

12 “ Working with the community, I didn’t know they have a lot of information but today we get it. I was surprised at the level of participation from people in the sessions, they were not shy but spoke, did everything.” “It was important to me because of family empowerment, working directly with caregivers, finding how to involve grannies.” “To understand the community I am working with is important because of our outreach programmes, understanding the values as well as the culture.” Current OSISA research with HSRC focusing on local knowledge to inform programming and advocacy

13 Possible elements of a quality improvement system Develop differentiated indicators for adequate, good and excellent for all types of ECDE service On registration ECDE service assessed (including parent input) and enters quality improvement programme with improvement plan District level mentoring & support (workshops, support groups) Service provider: self assessment process and regular reflections on practice Service & practitioner accreditation to stimulate ongoing improvement Periodic programme evaluations linked to child outcomes All of this has to be supported by a process to improve wages & working conditions of practitioners


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