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Early childhood development and education: the South African context

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This paper addresses the role of proper early childhood development with an emphasis on the importance of play during this period. Appropriate early childhood development will have a myriad of ripple effects on children's well–being, as well as on society's well–being as a whole. Since early childhood development affects children's academic prowess, this will ultimately affect important societal issues such as democracy and equality. A healthy democracy and equality will in turn promote community development. Moreover, early childhood education is indispensable and of central importance in achieving appropriate development and well–being of children. The cumulative effect of the South African Constitution, the Children's Act and several international instruments, as well as the interaction between them on early childhood development will also be examined. It will be concluded that the adoption of a child–to–child approach, combined with and integrated approach, will be invaluable to proper early childhood development.

Keywords: child–to–child approaches, learning, schools, survival, international law, early childhood development, South Africa, primary education, play, ripple effects, well–being, society, academic prowess, societal issues, democracy, equality, community development, communities, South African Constitution, legislative acts, statutes, legislation, UNCRC, United Nations, UN, international conventions, human rights, CRC, CROC, ACRWC, international charters, children, child rights, child welfare, Children', s Charter, Organisation of African Unity, OAU, scientific enquiry

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