Early Childhood Development (ECD): Why is it so crucial?

The early years are a critical time for physical, mental, emotional and social growth, and for laying the foundation for developing sound literacy, numeracy and social skills. ECD as the basis for successful education contributes to the development of an active and educated citizenry, benefitting South Africa as a whole. 

Our Mission

Ntataise: ‘To lead a young child by the hand.’

We empower women through Early Childhood Development (ECD) training, we support communities through our networks and outreach programmes, and we serve children through improving the reach and quality of ECD provision.

Our Strategy

Ntataise helps build the South African ECD system through three core focus areas:

Research &

Learning from good practice, staying relevant, and pioneering approaches to meet the changing needs of our communities.

Learning & development

Building the capacity and practices of the ECD work force to give them the knowledge and skills to facilitate stimulating play-based learning.

Collaboration & coordination

Sharing knowledge and partnering with others to improve quality and to extend the reach of ECD.

Our Story

More than 40 years on from its small beginnings on a farm in the Free State in 1980, Ntataise has proved its longevity and sustainability.

 The pioneering spirit of the organisation that provided early learning on farms by creating pre-schools and training teachers lives on. At the same time, we learn and evolve in line with changing conditions, new research, good practice and innovation. We are now one of the largest and most successful ECD networks in South Africa, supporting a critical area of skills development and employment for women in the interests of young children.

What we do in ECD

We are an independent, not-for-profit organisation which helps women from marginalised communities gain the knowledge and skills needed to establish and sustain Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes. We focus on the development of leaders in the sector, both at grassroots level in community-based programmes and in the training organisations which support those working directly with young children. Our vision is to increase access to quality ECD, which is vital to the care of vulnerable children.

Our Impact

Years in ECD


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