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On Friday, 1 September 2023, at Miriam Makeba, the UFH ECD Centre and the Department of Social Work and Social Development hosted an ECD knowledge sharing seminar which was well attended by both university and community stakeholders and role players.

The event was facilitated by Dr Makeleni, an education lecturer and long-standing member of the UFH ECD transdisciplinary working group. Attendees were warmly welcomed by Prof Mncube, Dean of the Faculty of Education, with presentations led by Dr Tyilo, Director UFH ECD Centre, Dr Schmidt, Deputy HOD and senior lecturer from the Department of Social Work and Social Development and Ms Matshoba, Academic Coordinator for the UFH ECD Centre. These presentations reflected on the importance of ECD setting a foundation from which optimal future development can be supported, a home-visiting programme to support good outcomes for vulnerable children, the inclusion of men in ECD programmes and supporting children with disabilities through an ECD programme.

Presentations by community role players, including Dr Michaelis, a neuropaediatrician, Kim Phettifer, a dietician and Stacey Scholtz, an OT, from Frere Hospital, reflected on the importance of brain development, nutrition, early learning and stimulation, good health and nurturing care during the early years.  Loaves and Fishes Network an organization established in 2006, with the purpose of supporting an ever-expanding number of community initiated crèches closed the session with ITEC summarising a vision for the future where all children are able to access quality ECD services to support their development. All speakers highlighted the importance of development during the early years and included reflections from practice in the Eastern Cape.


Active participation by attendees throughout the seminar resulted in partnerships being strengthened and a commitment to continued championing for every young child in the Eastern Cape province. Well done to UFH, the UFH ECD Centre and the UFH Department of Social Work and Social Development for organizing and hosting such a valuable and informative ECD seminar.