Original Research - Special Collection: Early Childhood Development in Theory and Practice

Availability and use of infrastructural resources in promoting quality early childhood care and education in registered early childhood development centres

Adebunmi Y. Aina, Keshni Bipath
South African Journal of Childhood Education | Vol 12, No 1 | a980 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajce.v12i1.980 | © 2022 Adebunmi Y. Aina, Keshni Bipath | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 23 January 2021 | Published: 07 February 2022

About the author(s)

Adebunmi Y. Aina, Department of Educational Management and Policy Studies, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Keshni Bipath, Department of Early Childhood Education, Faculty of Education, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

Background: Quality early childhood development (ECD) is crucial for protecting children against a multitude of socio-economic challenges such as poor living standards, lack of education, and substandard healthcare. Furthermore, research has revealed that educational resources used at ECD centres enrich the all-round well-being of young children. Despite these findings, the provision of educational resources in the ECD learning environment has received little or no attention at national and local levels.

Aim: This study aimed to explore registered ECD centres to understand the available infrastructure resources and how they are used to promote quality early childhood care and education (ECCE).

Setting: A sample of eight participants (four ECD centre principals and four practitioners) from four registered ECD centres were purposively selected in suburban and township areas of Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa.

Methods: An interpretative, qualitative multiple case study was used and the Woodhead quality framework for ECD centres was used as a guide for this study. Data were collected through face-to-face semi-structured interviews, non-participant observation and field notes.

Results: The findings revealed that practitioners know how the use of learning resources improve young children’s growth and development. However, the township centres have fewer infrastructure resources that promote quality ECCE because of the dire socio-economic conditions of the parents.

Conclusion: The lack of modern and age-appropriate play equipment at township registered centres indicated that the (township) practitioners are not able to use such equipment, even though they are aware of their benefits in promoting quality ECCE. Hence, quality ECCE is not equally available. The great equaliser, called ECCE, is merely a smokescreen.


Keywords

infrastructural resources; registered early childhood development centres; quality early childhood care; education; suburban centre; township centre

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