Research & Innovation

Understanding the sector in which we work enables us to connect and collaborate with others for greater impact. In order to ensure that Ntataise’s training programmes – including instructional design, course materials, assessment systems, and learning and teaching aids – are relevant, useful and sustainable, we need to build our knowledge of current research and debates in ECD.  We also need to understand the contexts in which we work and collaborate with others.

To these ends, Ntataise follows and contributes to areas such as the following:  

  • The policy and legislative landscape that shapes the ECD sector, its workforce and the provision of services in South Africa. Ntataise participates in policy development through advocacy forums (such as the National ECD Inter-sectoral Forum) and public comment .
  • Training opportunities, qualifications and career pathways that shape skills development for ECD practitioners. Thanks to our longevity, we were part of the original scoping of ECD qualifications in the nineties. We have continued to contribute to emerging ECD qualifications since then, and take an active role in the development of new academic specialisations and occupational qualifications in .
  • Appropriate pedagogies, for both the training of ECD practitioners and the teaching and support of the children in their care.
  • The incorporation of digital platforms and tools in our programmes so as to extend reach and access, and to develop innovations in digital audio-visual learning activities.
  • Data on all aspects of ECD, from children’s access to programmes to the availability and distribution of different types of sites. For example, in South Africa around 35% of South Africa’s children attend some kind of formal early childhood development programme, most often at a pre-school which may or may not have qualified teachers. 65% of South Africa’s children still do not access any kind of early childhood development programme.
  • Contextual factors that affect early learning, such as nutrition, parental attitudes and language environments.
  • Early learning theories and approaches, such as play-based learning. Ntataise has researched, trialled and implemented various play-based models for school readiness in its programmes.
  • The nature and range of effective ECD resources, including materials, teaching aids and tools.
  • Innovations in ECD from local, regional and international .

This is a sample of the research and information-gathering areas in which Ntataise engages, through participation in relevant forums, joint projects, commissioned research or organisation-based research and knowledge management.

A sound understanding of the features of ECD across various South African contexts enables us to adapt and customise our programmes as needed.

Engagement with the theory and practice of ECD in general enables us to develop relevant and effective programmes. Understanding the sector in which we work enables us to connect and collaborate with others for greater impact.