Words of wisdom in celebration of 25 years of ECD

UNICEF held its 13th ECD Knowledge Building Seminar on 21st November 2019. The Seminar celebrated 25 years of Early Childhood Development with a focus on reflecting on the achievements and role of the ECD Workforce. Jane Evans, Founder of Ntataise 39 years ago, was invited along with four other ECD ‘veterans’ to participate on a panel to reflect on the history of ECD in South Africa and to provide wisdom for the future.

As part of Jane’s contribution, she spoke about the central role that ECD practitioners play in the development and wellbeing of young children. ECD Practitioners, particularly those that work in under-resourced settings, need continuous professional development opportunities that encompass a balance of formal training and on-site support and mentorship. Jane also spoke about the importance of working closely with communities to understand and respond to their needs. She emphasised the vital role that civil society has played for the past five decades and will continue to play in partnership with government.

The panel was asked to share a message with young people working in the sector. In Jane’s message, she said:

“Working with children is a huge responsibility and commitment. When we see that light in the eyes of young children, it’s part of our jobs to ensure that light doesn’t diminish. ECD is not a job, it’s a passion. It’s a calling.”