SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED QUALIFICATION: 

Occupational Certificate: Early Childhood Development Practitioner 
SAQA QUAL ID QUALIFICATION TITLE
97542  Occupational Certificate: Early Childhood Development Practitioner 
ORIGINATOR
Development Quality Partner - ETDPSETA (Education) 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY NQF SUB-FRAMEWORK
-   OQSF - Occupational Qualifications Sub-framework 
QUALIFICATION TYPE FIELD SUBFIELD
Occupational Certificate  Field 05 - Education, Training and Development  Early Childhood Development 
ABET BAND MINIMUM CREDITS PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL QUAL CLASS
Undefined  131  Not Applicable  NQF Level 04  Regular-ELOAC 
REGISTRATION STATUS SAQA DECISION NUMBER REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE
Reregistered  SAQA 06120/18  2018-07-01  2023-06-30 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This qualification does not replace any other qualification and is not replaced by any other qualification. 

PURPOSE AND RATIONALE OF THE QUALIFICATION 
Purpose:
The purpose of this qualification is to prepare a learner to operate as an Early Childhood Development Practitioner.
An Early Childhood Development Practitioner plans and prepares early childhood activities, facilitates and mediates learning, observes and assesses the progress of children, and reflects on learning in an inclusive, play-based environment to support holistic development of children (from conception - school going) in different centre-based or non-centre based settings.

A qualified learner will be able to:
  • Plan and prepare broad-phase learning environment and stimulating activities that meet the holistic needs of all children in centre-based or non-centre-based settings.
  • Facilitate and mediate all aspects of the daily programme in a centre-based or non-centre based setting.
  • Observe, assess and record each child's progress according to the age and stage.
  • Compile a report of each child's progress.
  • Maintain and promote the well-being, health, nutrition, safety and protection of children.

    Rationale:
    The Occupational Certificate: Early Childhood Development has been designed to meet the needs and interests of the early childhood development sector in a variety of settings and contexts with an inclusive focus on education, health and safety issues, amongst others. There is a vast need for early childhood development services and it is critical that the field must be served by competent practitioners. In order to meet the needs at early childhood development level, it is important to be able to identify and recognise competent early childhood development practitioners who are able to work in centre-based and non-centre-based early childhood development settings.

    This qualification will provide a means to give recognition to practitioners at an entry level, thus making it possible for practitioners to increase their employment prospects within the Department of Basic Education. The Department of Social Development, through the registration of early childhood development centres and/or sites, may also provide business opportunities to successful practitioners who may wish to establish early childhood centres and/or sites. It will also provide access to a recognised career path and at the same time provide the field with suitably qualified professional practitioners.

    The qualification will provide opportunities to people who wish to enter and/or continue learning in the early childhood development field, which include the employed, under-employed but not qualified, and school leavers. Every child has the right to high-quality, holistic education and care which forms the critical foundation for further development and learning from childhood into adulthood.

    This necessitates the universal availability of high-quality early childhood development and education as a vital strategy to yield personal and long-term benefits to individual children, their families and the society at large.

    Early childhood development is an essential component of economic development within the framework of child care services. Changing social and economic needs require parents to enter the labour market. Therefore quality early childhood development service provision is required to meet growing demands in the country, both in urban and rural settings. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):
    RPL for access to the external integrated summative assessment: Accredited providers and approved workplaces must apply the internal assessment criteria specified in the related curriculum document to establish and confirm prior learning. Accredited providers and workplaces must confirm prior learning by issuing a Statement of Results or certifying a Work Experience Record.

    RPL for access to the Qualification: Accredited providers and approved workplaces may recognise prior learning against the relevant access requirements.

    Entry Requirements:
  • National Certificate Vocational (NCV) at NQF Level 3.
    Or
  • Any other NQF Level 3 qualification. 

  • RECOGNISE PREVIOUS LEARNING? 

    QUALIFICATION RULES 
    This qualification is made up of the following compulsory Knowledge Modules, Practical Skill Modules and Work Experience Modules totalling 131 Credits:

    Knowledge Modules: 43 Credits:
  • 234201000-KM-01, Introduction to the early childhood development sector, at NQF Level 4, 4 Credits.
  • 234201000-KM-02, Theories and Perspectives of Child Development, at NQF Level 5, 6 Credits.
  • 234201000-KM-03, Planning and Programme Development in early childhood settings, at NQF Level 4, 8 Credits.
  • 234201000-KM-04, Facilitation and mediation of active learning, at NQF Level 5, 12 Credits.
  • 234201000-KM-05, Observation and assessment in early childhood development, at NQF Level 4, 4 Credits.
  • 234201000-KM-06, Promotion of health, safety and well-being of children, at NQF Level 4, 6 Credits.
  • 234201000-KM-07, Administration for early childhood development services and programmes, at NQF Level 3, 3 Credits.

    Practical Skill Modules; 43 Credits:
  • 234201000-PM-01, Plan and prepare inclusive educational activities and routines using an approved programme based on the curriculum framework, at NQF Level 4, 12 Credits.
  • 234201000-PM-02, Facilitate and mediate active learning in an integrated and holistic learning programme, at NQF Level 5, 9 Credits.
  • 234201000-PM-03, Observe, assess, record and report each child's progress according to the age and stage, at NQF Level 4, 4 Credits.
  • 234201000-PM-04, Support and promote the health, nutrition, safety, protection and well-being of children, at NQF Level 4, 12 Credits.
  • 234201000-PM-05, Build and maintain collaborative relationships with parents and other service providers, at NQF Level 4, 3 Credits.
  • 234201000-PM-06, Prepare and maintain administrative systems, at NQF Level 3, 3 Credits.

    Work Experience Modules; 45 Credits:
  • 234201000-WM-01, Learning programme and routines planning and preparation process, at NQF Level 4, 13 Credits.
  • 234201000-WM-02, Processes of facilitating and mediating the learning programme in a variety of contexts, at NQF Level 4, 15 Credits.
  • 234201000-WM-03, Processes of observation, assessment, recording and reporting on children's learning and development, at NQF Level 4, 7 Credits.
  • 234201000-WM-04, Processes and procedures of promoting the health, nutrition, safety, protection and well-being of children in an early childhood development setting, at NQF Level 4, 10 Credits. 

  • EXIT LEVEL OUTCOMES 
    1. Plan and prepare broad-phase learning environment and stimulating activities that meet the holistic needs of all children in centre-based or non-centre-based settings.
    2. Facilitate and mediate all aspects of the daily programme in a centre-based or non-centre based setting.
    3. Observe, assess and record each child's progress.
    4. Compile a report of each child's progress.
    5. Maintain and promote the well-being, health, nutrition, safety and protection of children. 

    ASSOCIATED ASSESSMENT CRITERIA 
    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 1:
  • In inclusive physical learning environment for the selected broad phase is set up to encourage play, exploration and learning for all children in a centre-based or non-centre-based setting.
  • The concepts of inclusion, diversity, equality, cultural and language sensitivity in early childhood development are explained in accordance with legal and centre policy requirements.
  • A daily plan for one broad phase that reflects diversity, culture and inclusivity is designed and developed using developmentally appropriate activities, resources and equipment.
  • The activities are planned and prepared, and resources are adapted to meet the learning and developmental needs, including special needs, of a selected broad phase within the planned programme.
  • Factors to be considered when planning for the learning and development of children in a centre-based or non-centre-based setting are identified and explained.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 2:
  • The importance and benefits of both indoor and outdoor play are explained with examples.
  • Types of play that support the areas of learning and development are identified and analysed as outlined in the early childhood development curriculum.
  • A daily plan for one broad phase is implemented using appropriate activities and resources that reflect diversity, culture and inclusivity.
  • Reasons why both adult-directed and child-initiated play and learning activities are important for children are explained, in relation to development and learning of children.
  • The needs of all children in a centre-based or non-centred-based setting are identified and mediated through interactions, communication, guidance and care.
  • The facilitation of child-initiated and adult-directed activities is demonstrated.
  • The development of children's language and thinking is mediated through integrated activities using different methods.
  • Barriers to play-based learning in an early childhood development setting are identified and described with examples.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 3:
  • The importance of observing, assessing and documenting children's learning and development in a centre-based setting is explained.
  • Different assessment techniques appropriate to early childhood development are identified and explained in order to assess the child's development and learning.
  • Different methods for gathering information of children's development and learning are identified and described with examples.
  • Different methods for recording children's learning and development are identified and described with examples.
  • Possible factors which may impede children's progress are identified and explained with examples.
  • Relevant tools, templates and documentation are used to produce written evidence of observation and assessment that meets the criteria for sound assessment practices of one child, using.
  • Observation and assessment methods to detect warning signs of developmental, emotional or health-related problems, including special needs, are applied, and findings are interpreted and recorded using relevant templates.
  • Child's records that meet the centre's policy requirements are completed.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 4:
  • Observation and assessment records are evaluated to determine children's developmental milestones and possible individual differences that affect children's growth and development.
  • The achievement of learning goals and targets is reviewed to track children's progress.
  • A progress report is developed integrating all relevant information pertaining to the child's progress, with recommendations in accordance with centre reporting requirements.
  • A plan is developed using assessment results to shape learning opportunities and needs of children, to achieve positive outcomes.
  • The importance of working with families to develop strategies with children when there are behavioural concerns is explained in order to promote positive behaviour.
  • Information gathered about children's progress is analysed, interpreted and used to support individual's development and learning, and to inform practice.

    Associated Assessment Criteria for Exit Level Outcome 5:
  • Different types of accidents and emergency situations which may occur in an early childhood development setting are identified and described.
  • An action plan on how to respond to accidents and emergency situations is developed in accordance with health and safety legislation and regulations, and the centre's policy requirements.
  • The nutritional requirements of a healthy diet for children are outlined by means of a weekly menu for all children, taking into account special dietary requirements.
  • Techniques of promoting healthy lifestyles for babies and children are identified and described with examples.
  • Given a case scenario, the signs of distress, maltreatment, abuse or neglect are identified and described, and recommendations on how to deal with them reflect centre policies in terms of rules of confidentiality and reporting procedures, including legal requirements.
  • Environmental dangers, infections and risks that may affect children, including children with special needs, in the centre-based or non-centre-based setting, are identified and explained with examples.
  • Procedures for recording and reporting accidents and other emergencies in own setting are described in accordance with legal and centre policy requirements.
  • Measures for the prevention and spread of infection in early childhood development settings are identified and described in accordance with legislation, regulations and guidance that apply to infection prevention and control.

    Integrated Assessment:
    Integrated formative assessment:
    The skills development providers will use the curriculum to guide them on the stipulated internal assessment criteria and weighting. They will also apply the scope of practical skills and applied knowledge as stipulated by the internal assessment criteria. This formative assessment leads to entrance into the integrated external summative assessment.

    Integrated Summative Assessment:
    An external integrated summative assessment, conducted through the relevant QCTO Assessment Quality Partner, is required for the issuing of this qualification. The external integrated summative assessment will focus on the Exit Level Outcomes and Associated Assessment Criteria. 

  • INTERNATIONAL COMPARABILITY 
    The aim of the international comparability study was to examine early childhood development qualifications of other countries at international, regional and African contexts to benchmark best practice in this field. The study examined occupationally-based early childhood development qualifications and related curricula, including competencies as standards of knowledge and skills of early childhood development professionals responsible for the care and education of children at different levels. The comparability exercise focused on three countries, namely United States of America, United Kingdom and Kenya.

    The findings of the study indicate that the sections on training and qualifications of Early Childhood Education (ECE) staff in ECE centres differ markedly in terms of duration and levels of study.

    United States of America:
    The US Delaware Department of Education identified competencies of early childhood professionals and divided the ECE staff into four levels. Level 1 practitioners are required to assist, Level 2 to implement, Level 3 to design and develop, and Level 4 to manage and lead. All staff is required to have knowledge and skills in the following content areas:
  • Child Development.
  • Environment and Curriculum.
  • Promoting socio-emotional development.
  • Observation and assessment.
  • Health, Safety and Nutrition.
  • Working with Families and Professionalism.

    These content areas are identifiable in the countries compared, which are the United Kingdom and Kenya with professionalism and legislation/policy frameworks and reflective practice being used interchangeably, diversity or inclusion being highlighted, and aspects of qualification design, qualification evaluation, context-specific interventions, children's welfare, specific focus areas of language, etc. and activities fore-grounded in the qualifications offered, comparing favourably with the South African early childhood development outcomes.

    United Kingdom:
    Course Title: CACHE Level 3 Childcare and Education:
    This is a work-based, competence-based qualification that prepares learners to work with children and young people with their families in a variety of settings. The job roles are listed as follows:
  • Child-minder.
  • Crèche Leader.
  • Nursery Nurse.
  • Nursery Supervisor.
  • Playgroup Leader.
  • Pre-school Leader.
  • Special Educational Needs Supporter.
  • Toy Library Leader.

    The competencies reflect the skills and knowledge needed to do a job effectively; to work on their own initiative, planning and organising their own work; and supervising others. This qualification is pitched at the level equivalent to the South African Occupational qualification developed for ECD Practitioners.
    The qualification structure is as follows:
  • Unit 1: An introduction to working with children.
  • Unit 2: Development from conception to age 16 years.
  • Unit 3: Supporting children.
  • Unit 4: Keeping children safe.
  • Unit 5: The principles underpinning the role of the practitioner working with children.
  • Unit 6: Promoting a healthy environment for children.
  • Unit 7: Play and learning in children's education.
  • Unit 8: Caring for children.
  • Unit 9: Development of professional skills within children's education.

    The CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Early Years Education and Care (Early Years Educator) prepares learners to become Early Years Educators, enabling them to work with children from birth to 5 years and gain knowledge of children aged 5 to 7 years.

    Kenya:
    GEMS Training Education and Leadership Academy:
    Title: CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator) (QCF).
    Early Childhood Development Education in Kenya is under the care of parents, community, non- governmental organisations (NGO), religious organisations and other private providers. In Kenya the Nursery Teacher Certificate course (2 years) is replaced by the KHA (Kindergarten Teacher Diploma) for low-budget private pre-schools that serve low-income families. Further to this there is little information available about ECE staff that works out of centres such a playgroup facilitators, home-visitors or toy librarians. The search indicated that the mostly used education and training in early childhood development for practitioners is offered through GEMS Education in partnership with CACHE (Council for Awards in Care, Health and Education). GEMS Education is providing globally recognised Early Years Practitioner accredited qualifications in sixteen countries in the world. The CACHE Level 3 Diploma for the Early Years Workforce (Early Years Educator) (QCF) prepares learners to become Early Years Educators, enabling them to work with and care for children from birth to 5 years and gain knowledge of children aged 5 to 7 years. It is a work-based qualification that recognises effective practice by assessing the skills, knowledge and understanding of practitioners, including child development, teaching methods and appropriate provision for young children.

    The units are structured around four themes as follows:
  • Unit 1: Health and well-being.
  • Unit 2: Legislation, frameworks and professional practice.
  • Unit 3: Play, development and learning for school readiness.
  • Unit 4: Professional development.

    The duration of the full diploma is 12 months and it is offered through online and classroom sessions (face-to-face) during six weekend training workshops spread throughout the year. Although the mode of delivery varies with this qualification, the course content and duration compare favourably with the occupational qualification.

    Conclusion:
    The findings of the research done in the countries above reveal that the Early Childhood Development Practitioner Occupational Qualification compares favourably with that of the countries studied. There are many similarities in terms of the scope, content and duration of the qualification. 

  • ARTICULATION OPTIONS 
    Horizontal Articulation:
  • Further Education and Training Certificate in Early Childhood Development, NQF Level 4, SAQA ID: 58761.

    Vertical Articulation:
  • National Certificate in Early Childhood Development, NQF Level 5, SAQA ID: 58761.
  • National Diploma in Early Childhood Development, NQF Level 5, SAQA ID: 64650. 

  • MODERATION OPTIONS 
    N/A 

    CRITERIA FOR THE REGISTRATION OF ASSESSORS 
    N/A 

    NOTES 
    Qualifying for external assessment:
    In order to qualify for the external summative assessment, learners must have a copy of a completed and signed Statement of Work Experience as well as proof of successful completion of the following subjects and Modules or Alternative Programmes where applicable:
    Foundational Learning Competence is a pre-requisite for access to the external integrated summative assessment.

    Additional legal or physical entry requirements:
    None

    Criteria for the accreditation of providers:
    Accreditation of providers will be done against the criteria as reflected in the relevant Curriculum on the QCTO website.
    The Curriculum Title and Code is: 234201000: Early Childhood Development Practitioner.

    This Qualification covers the following trades as recorded on the NLRD:
  • Not applicable as this Qualification is not a trade. 

  • LEARNING PROGRAMMES RECORDED AGAINST THIS QUALIFICATION: 
     
    NONE 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS QUALIFICATION: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.