Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD ) is a field of endeavour that focuses on supporting young children’s development. Early Childhood encompasses the period of human development from prenatal through the transition from home or ECCD centre into the early primary grades (prenatal – 8 years of age). Based on research, ECCD links the young child’s cognitive, social, emotional, and physical processes with the Care (by families, communities and the nation) required to support that Development.
Framed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the ECCD field is interdisciplinary in its focus. It includes health, nutrition, education, social science, economics, child protection and social welfare.
The ECCD field strives to ensure young children’s overall well-being during the early years, providing also the foundation for the development of adults who are healthy, socially and environmentally responsible, intellectually competent, and economically productive…click here for expanded definition