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Nominations open for the annual South African ECD awards

Nominations opened for the annual SA Early Childhood Development (ECD) awards on 1 July 2012. Beatrice Mushazhirwa, programme manager, Community Investment, Absa shared information with the Regulatory Roundup about the awards. She encouraged all of our readers to share the news about the awards, and to encourage the nomination of quality ECD programmes, practitioners, and other professionals, especially in the more remote and marginalised communities of South Africa.

The awards aim to recognise and promote quality, integrated ECD programmes and practices that promote the health, nutritional, educational, psychosocial, and related development of the infant and young child.

Individual practitioners, community centres and organisations involved in early childhood development can nominate themselves or may be nominated by others in one of the following five award categories:

  • Best ECD Practitioner of the Year
  • Best ECD Centre of the Year
  • Best ECD Trainer of the Year
  • Best Publication of the Year
  • Best ECD Training and Intervention Programme

ECD programmes that promote the quality of care, protection and development of children; the development of the skills of caregivers so as to better enable them to provide children with stimulating environment; and those that promote the importance of early childhood development in these categories stand a good chance of winning.

Winning one of the awards is however not the only benefit to be obtained from being nominated.  Simply participating in the award process is itself of significant professional and organisational value.

In our interview with Beatrice she stressed that the award nomination, selection and preparation process has been designed to develop the skills and expertise of nominees, thus adding multiple dimensions of value to the ECD sector and promotion of the well-being of the young child in South Africa.

The process starts with the short-listing of nominees at a provincial level. All shortlisted candidates from the different provinces receive communications development in the form of training on how to present and sell their programmes. The successful provincial nominees then compete at national level. The finalists from the different provinces are brought together for a full week, during which time they enjoy the benefit of sponsored training, development and networking amongst like-minded ECD professionals, including practitioners, donors, researchers and writers. “During this week”, says Beatrice, “we provide opportunities for learning, sharing of best practices, the development of further communication and organisational skills, but most of all, it is a week dedicated to appreciating the women and men who give so much to the development of the sector and the infants and young children of South Africa.”

Those who ultimately win the awards will receive monetary prizes for the development of their organisations and programmes. They are also encouraged to use a capped percentage of their winnings on their own personal development.

The awards are a joint initiative supported by multiple partners, including ABSA, UNICEF, the South Africa Congress for Early Childhood Development, and the Departments of Basic Education and Social Development.

The organisers would like to encourage more media participation in the partnership and invites all media houses and publications with an interest in the development of South Africa and the development and well-being of its children to join this partnership. Through this partnership, the media is invited to promote and raise awareness of the awards as well as publicise the outcomes across the country, and at the same time promote the fundamental importance of ECD for the development of South Africa.

Anyone who is interested in pursuing this invitation is requested to contact Beatrice at Absa on 011 350 8177 or at <fontface=Arial color=blue>This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Click here for nomination forms for Best ECD Trainer.



Click here for nomination forms for Best Children’s book.



Click here for nomination forms for Best ECD practitioner.



Click here for nomination forms for Best ECD Site Centre.



Click here for nomination forms for Best ECD Training and Intervention.