n Commonwealth Youth and Development - Early childhood development (ECD) trends in the province of the Eastern Cape, south Africa




This article interrogates early childhood development (ECD) provisioning in the province of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. It argues that while well-structured and integrated early childhood development (ECD) programmes are at the epicentre of sustainable national human resource development (HRD) strategies, the Eastern Cape's infant mortality rate (IMR) of 61.2 per 1000 live births is the highest in South Africa. It reaches alarming rates of 99 deaths per 1000 live births in the eastern part of the province where poverty is rife. This scenario mirrors national trends in that while South Africa is rated as an upper middle-income country and a prominent economy that accounts for over 75% of the entire SADC's GDP, 40% of its young children grow up in abject poverty. It argues that in order for the Eastern Cape to be competitive and sustainable in the long term, the provincial government needs to invest heavily in the well-being of children through well-structured and sustainable ECD programmes.


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