Science tells us that the foundations of sound mental health are built early in life. Early experiences—including children’s relationships with parents, caregivers, relatives, teachers, and peers—interact with genes to shape the architecture of the developing brain. Disruptions in this developmental process can impair a child’s capacities for learning and relating to others, with lifelong implications.
Today is World Play Day, a chance for adults and children to celebrate the importance of play. For developing children, the power of play cannot be overstated. Play helps children learn to understand and interact with the world around them and teaches them to problem-solve. It also gives parents a chance to bond with their children and makes children feel valued.
This March, we took the collective thinking muscle of the mighty potluck to Johannesburg. Our mission? To harness the brainstorming powers of professionals from different backgrounds and address the critical problems facing early childhood development (ECD) initiatives in South Africa today.
(Article by Peter Barrett, Professor of Management in Property and Construction at University of Salford. Cross-posted from The Conversation).
We all know how important it is that our primary school teachers are highly qualified, but what is less known is what impact the room where children are taught has on their achievement or performance. Results of a three-year research project have shown that the design of a classroom at primary school level can boost learning progress by up to 16% in a single year.
Caregivers of young children gather regularly and for long periods of time at various government service points, to apply for or collect a social grant, to register the birth of a child, to get a child immunised and weighed or for an antenatal checkup.