In partnership with

Play, Learn, Win Early Childhood Development

Environmental Scan (Enviroscan)
Edition 08/2022

EYFS: Why Pushing Professional Learning is Crucial

13 June 2022

It is widely recognised that the experiences children have in early childhood have a substantial and long-lasting impact on their outcomes. And the impact doesn’t stop when formal education ends. Other robust studies have found that children who participated in high-quality pre-school programmes had higher levels of employment and earnings in later life and were more likely to be in high-skilled jobs.

But there seems to be a direct correlation between the levels of outcome and the professional development available for all early years educators, regardless of their qualifications. This has the potential to have an impact on a number of levels. It is clear that effective CPD can impact pupil outcomes in early years settings, just as it does across the education system.

And the attributes of professional learning are also, unsurprisingly, closely aligned with the features of effective teacher learning in general. Duration, frequency, and intensity of professional learning matter; one-off sessions are unlikely to lead to sustained change. So, considering developments in the ECD sector, also in SA, opportunities for further training and qualifications for early years staff seem a particularly timely issue. 

PLW Comment: PLW are firm supporters of CPD in the early years’ environment. This is then also why we offer a number of stand-alone and accredited courses. Visit our websites for more detail in this regard.

Further Reading: CPD For Early Years Teachers


Super Apps are the Way Forward for Modern Parents

09 June 2022



This article is about a fancy new school that opened in Australia. However, the focus here, from a PLW point of view, is not so much on the viewpoint about fancy schools, which to some may leave a bit of a bad taste in the mouth, considering that there is not supposed to be any direct correlation between fancy infrastructure and quality of education, but rather about what is said in the article about the size of the sector in Australia.


It states that the market size of the childcare services industry in Australia in 2022 is $13.7 billion and is expected to increase 2.8 per cent this year, representing an annualised growth over the past 5 years (2017–2022) of 2.1 per cent.


Further Reading: Australia Childcare Market Size

The Benefits of Preschool

07 June 2022



Some parents grapple over whether to send their child to preschool or keep them home in their toddler years. Of course, every family has its unique circumstances and its own factors to consider when making this important decision.

This article is written from an American perspective, but it does provide some good reasoning as to why attending a preschool is important – especially if you get asked this question by a parent who may be considering enrolling their child in your school. Read it and see if you can agree with it from a South African perspective.

They go on to state that an overarching benefit of preschool is the vital role it plays in the development of the whole child. The pre-kindergarten years provide a time in a child’s life where social, emotional, and cognitive development needs to be nourished and developed equally, many educators say.

Another benefit of preschool learning is that professional teachers on staff are trained to identify problems a child may have – problems that might go unnoticed by parents.

Further Reading: The Importance of Attending Preschool 



We Asked 8 Child-care Workers About Their Joys and Frustrations

13 June 2022

Again, a perspective from the U.S. – some of it humorous, some not so much. Do you agree with their viewpoints? It’s not always easy, we know. And at PLW we think that all ECD educators deserve a medal!

Further Reading: ECD Teacher Joys and Frustrations

Three Things I’d fix as Australia’s (fantasy) Minister for Early Education

06 June 2022

As they say – the grass isn’t always greener on the other side! Quite a dramatic statement by the author of this article when she says, “It is no exaggeration to say that our childcare system is on the verge of collapse, with services are unable to recruit the educators they need. There are about 6,000 vacancies now and it’s estimated we will need another 39,000 educators by next year.”

Sound familiar? Some of these points are relevant to the South African scenario, and some, we hazard to say, are not. What do you think? I think we all agree that we have much to do as far as ECD is concerned in South Africa but it’s clear that we aren’t the only ones.

Further Reading: Things to Fix   



Report Highlights Lack of Learning Through Play at SA Crèches

03 June 2022


The department’s census, done in partnership with the LEGO Foundation, counted over 1.6 million children enrolled in ECD centres across the country. It has found that just 54 percent of ECD centres allocate less than 30 minutes per day to free play as part of their daily programme.

Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of The LEGO Foundation, says learning through play is critical for children. “Through play, children learn about themselves and the great big world around them. It also unlocks skills they need for study, work, and relationships, making play a fundamental building block to our society’s success,” she said.

PLW Comment: Well, our name says it all – Play, Learn, Win. We are fierce supporters of the concept of learning through play. This is then also so reflected in our curriculum.

Further Reading: Children Must Play More


Local ECD Centre Set to Leave a Lasting Legacy

09 June 2022

It’s always great to read about success stories within the Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) space when it comes to ECD in this country. Siyafunda Day Care Centre is one such example and has received numerous accolades for its hard work and many achievements over the years. As a result, children who attend this centre receive preference when enrolling for Grade R at local schools.

Siyafunda, which cares for more than 40 young children, is one of 25 early childhood development centres benefiting from Cookhouse Wind Farm’s ECD programme, which was launched in 2016. Now in its seventh year, early learning centres receive educational support and infrastructure improvement. In addition to a number of practitioner awards, the Siyafunda Day Care Centre recently received a Further Education and Training Certificate in early childhood development, recognising the learning centre for its excellence.

Further Reading: PPP in Action

Campaign Seeks Innovative Solutions to Improve Literacy and Language in SA’s Early Learning Programmes

07 June 2022

The Thrive by Five Index shows that almost half of South African children between four and five years old, who attend early learning programmes in impoverished communities, are failing to meet literacy and language standards for their age. Cape Town-based investment fund, Innovation Edge, is offering funding to entrepreneurs who can produce solutions that improve preschool teachers’ support of early literacy development.

Proposed solutions need to be suitable for four- to six-year-old kids who attend early learning programmes in South Africa’s impoverished communities. Of those who make submissions for the campaign, a selected few will be supported to pitch their solutions to the Innovation Edge Investment Committee in September 2022. From these, the organisation will select at least three solutions to fund.

Further Reading: And Some More PPP Initiatives 


How Local Businesses Can Help Reduce Inequality

08 June 2022


And still on the subject of partnerships! In a recent keynote address delivered by Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, she said only half of the ECD programmes have access to age-appropriate books while a third do not have access to any outdoor play equipment.

She also indicated that 22% of ECD staff had no training and that only 26% had attended a skills training programme. In terms of infrastructure, 60% of programmes have flush toilets and around a third of all schools do not have taps to supply water for handwashing.

Here, businesses can play a role by either earmarking financial contributions from their annual budgets to work with programmes such as the Santa Shoebox Legacy which partners with the private sector to improve these centres and transform communities. 

Further Reading: Local Business and Inequality  


Establishing a New School

June 2022

Establishing a new school sounds like a daunting enterprise. ISASA (Independent Schools Association of South Africa) has drawn up a short document that outlines the steps to be taken. Even if you are already the owner of a school it may just be worth your while to read through this checklist to see whether you tick all the boxes!

Further Reading: ISASA Guidelines  


Please note that these Enviroscans are exactly that – a short scan of the latest ECD developments. No attempt is made at interpretation and the reader should click on the relevant link provided at the end of every article summary to access the full article

We are a growth provider of early childhood education services, delivering an unrivalled advantage to South African educators, parents, and children… Passionate about collaboration, operational excellence, and the development of children up to 5 years of age. Play Learn Win Link

Parent streamlines and improves child care communication and administration in a single, secure childcare management platform. Accessible anywhere, Parent frees up your time for all the important stuff. Parent Link


Ammes, E. 09 June 2022. Super Apps are the Way Forward for Modern Parents: Interviewing the Creator of Onoco. Real Business.


Arora, G. 2019. Unsplash Image.


Author Unknown. 09 June 2022. Local ECD centre set to leave a lasting legacy. News24.


Author Unknown. 08 June 2022. How local businesses can help reduce inequality. The Ridge Times.


Author Unknown. June 2022. Establishing a New School. ISASA.


BBC Creative. 2020. Unsplash Image.


Bryant, L.  06 June 2022. Three things I’d fix as Australia’s (fantasy) minister for early education and childcare. The Guardian.


Fletcher, E. 2019. Unsplash Image.


Jung, C. 13 June 2022. We asked 8 child care workers about their joys and frustrations. Here’s what they said. WBUR.


Metelerkamp, T. 07 June 2022. Campaign seeks innovative solutions to improve literacy and language in SA’s early learning programmes. Daily Maverick.


Nkosi, B. 03 June 2022. Report highlights lack of learning through play at SA crèches. IOL.


Russo, B. 07 June 2022. The Benefits of Preschool. New York Family.


Scutt, C. 13 June 2022. EYFS: Why pushing professional learning is crucial. Tes Magazine.


Sung, J. 2020. Unsplash Image.

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