What is ECD?

Early Childhood Development (ECD) is a priority area within the South African context and is supported by legislation, national policies and strategies. The development of babies, toddlers and young children forms the most critical foundation of further development into childhood and adulthood. There is a vast need for ECD services. 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, and at the same time provide the field with suitably qualified practitioners. 


How can I use the ECD Qualification?

This is an entry-level qualification for those who want to enter the field of Education, Training and Development, specifically within the sub-field of Early Childhood Development (ECD). Many of those who will seek this qualification are already practising within the field, but without formal recognition. This qualification will enable recipients to facilitate the all-round development of young children in a manner that is sensitive to culture and individual needs (including special needs), and enable them to provide quality ECD services for children in a variety of contexts, including community-based services, ECD centres, at home and in institutions. In particular, recipients of this qualification will be able to: 

  • Plan and prepare for Early Childhood Development.
  • Facilitate and monitor the development of babies, toddlers and young children.
  • Provide care and support to babies, toddlers and young children. 

Practitioners will generally carry out their role under supervision and with the support of designed programmes. 

This qualification will provide a means for formal recognition of those who are already practising in the field, but without qualifications, as well as for those who wish to enter the field. The qualification will also provide a basis for further professional development in the higher education and training band for many experienced practitioners in the field who have had limited or difficult access to further career development opportunities. 


What courses can I study?


What qualification do I need to study for the courses?

You need a Gr 12 / matric certificate with a pass for Languages and Mathematics. 

Or a certificate for Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 3 or equivalent and a Second language at NQF Level 2 or equivalent. 


Recognition of Prior Learning: 

This qualification can be achieved wholly or in part through recognition of prior learning in terms of the defined exit level outcomes and/or individual Unit Standards. 

Evidence can be presented in various ways, including international and/or previous local qualifications, products, reports, testimonials mentioning functions performed, work records, portfolios, videos of practice and performance records. 

All such evidence will be judged in accordance with the general principles of assessment and the requirements for integrated assessment.  


How will my course material be delivered?

Once your payment plan has been confirmed, the order for your study material will be processed.

Your package will be sent by courier door to door. Any change in address details must be communicated to us prior to delivery. Your package will be dispatched upon receipt of your first monthly instalment.


How will I send my portfolio to be assessed?

The student assessment portfolio, once complete, must be returned to the READ Institute for Assessment and Verification. The cost of returning your evidence of learning is for your own account.  Should you choose to use the postal system, please ensure that you keep copies of your assignments for safe-keeping.


Do I need to attend class?

Contact sessions are not mandatory but will be of great help to you in achieving your goals. Two sessions are offered per term. A student can attend all the sessions, one session or none at all. During the session, your tutor will assist you in clarifying questions, explaining specific work modules and assisting students in planning their portfolios. The tutor will expect students to have already interacted with the material and to use the session as a support, not a new exploration of material.


What is a Portfolio of Evidence?

As part of the assessment for this unit standard you will be required to submit a Portfolio of Evidence (PoE) to demonstrate your competence.

The Student Assessment Portfolio aims to help you to plan, prepare, compile and present your PoE in order to be declared competent against the unit standards contained in this qualification

The student assessment portfolio is your evidence of learning, and together with the practical components, will become your PoE. In other words, your PoE will consist of completed tasks that are described in the Student Assessment Portfolio.


What does agood Portfolio of Evidence look like?

You will require a lever arch file with dividers separating the different Specific Outcomes and related activities.

According to the SAQA requirements, a “good” PoE is:

*      Valid (related to what is being assessed)

*      Current (as recent as possible)

*      Sufficient (enough evidence to prove the competence)

*      Authentic (conducted by the candidate him/herself, in a real-life work environment, or acceptably simulated environment). 

To fulfil these requirements, the following guidelines will help you to compile your portfolio correctly:

  1. Before you start completing your tasks, make sure that you have read and understood all the theory related to each Unit Standard.
  2. Number your additional Assignments correctly and keep them in the same order as they appear in your Student Assessment Portfolio.
  3. In case your evidence of learning falls out of your file, clearly print your name, ID number and training venue on every loose piece of paper, your posters and items that you have made or presented.
  4. DO NOT use plastic sleeves, unless they contain items of evidence that cannot be punched into a file.
  5. Make sure that you have referenced all evidence that you have not produced yourself. For example, all articles from magazines, books, off the internet etc. MUST be acknowledged and referenced properly. Remember that even if you have worked together in a group, you are still expected to produce your own personal evidence in your own words.


How will the Portfolio of Evidence be assessed?

All Portfolios of Evidence need to be submitted to the READ Institute for assessment. It is your responsibility to ensure that your PoE is submitted on time. Dates for submission, assessment and feedback will be discussed and agreed upon. 

The ETQA SETA verifies PoE's only TWICE a year therefore every effort must be made to complete your PoE within the stipulated time frame.   

 If you cannot submit your PoE for assessment within the specified timeframe, it is your responsibility to discuss the problem with your READ facilitator/tutor, who will decide whether an extension is warranted

However, there must be a clear understanding of the possible consequences of not submitting your PoE on time. If there is any delay in submission, there is no guarantee that your PoE will be ready for verification. Internal assessment and moderation of portfolios usually take 2-3 months depending on whether remediation and portfolio re-submission is required.

Thereafter, portfolios are verified by ETDP SETA who is the regulatory authority for training in early childhood development. It is this quality control authority that arranges the two on-site visits to the READ Institute for verification.

READ facilitators have no jurisdiction over these verification dates; therefore, it is very important that you adhere to the time frame, as missing the deadlines will mean that your results will not be updated on the National Learners Records Database (NLRD) in time for your graduation.


Can I get an Online Early Childhood Development Qualification from The Read Institute?

Yes. Read more about it here


What is the process for developing educational material in South Africa?

Read more about it here