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Impact of COVID-19 on South Africa’s early childhood education and the sustainable development goals

In South Africa, the government’s ECD (early childhood development) norms and standards policy sets the minimum standards for an acceptable ECD center and the country is considered to have made tremendous progress in providing ECD services since the apartheid era. The authors evaluate the current state of the early childhood development sector in South Africa with regard to the extent to which current ECD policies and legislation constrain the ability of the government and facilities to respond to the effects of the pandemic and to meet the related Sustainable Development Goals. Employing key informant interviews and semi-structured interview questions as part of a qualitative research method, the researchers interviewed several ECD experts to identify barriers to accessing early education opportunities in South Africa, which include socioeconomic status and funding constraints. Most of the respondents in the study reported ECD centers had received no government assistance to recover from the pandemic’s impacts. The authors identified several actions to improve universal access, inclusivity, and quality in the ECD sector, including greater political will and investment in ECD, and implementing alternatives to increasing access to ECD services/early learning through collaboration with nonprofit organizations (NPOs).

Uploaded by: Amiena Bayat
Author: Bayat, Amiena | ORCID:
Co-author: Madyibi, Siphe | ORCID:
Institution: University of the Western Cape | Centre: South African German Centre for Development Research (SA GER CDR)
Type: Chapter in book | English | Peer Reviewed
Subjects: Education

Published: eReference work: SDGs in Africa and the Middle East Region. Part of book series: Implementing the UN Sustainable Development Goals – Regional Perspective (E-ISSN 2731-5584;) | Cham: Springer Cham
Date: 10 January 2023 | Pages: 27
Copyright: ©Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2022 | License: Authors copy?
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