SA’s youngest children are not read to enough

Reading is an important form of stimulation and teaches babies and children about communication; introduces them to numbers, letters, colours, and shapes; develops their listening, memory and vocabulary skills; and enables them to understand the world around them.

Despite evidence supporting that babies should be read to from day one, data collected during the General Household Survey 2016 shows that half of children under 2 are never read to. The good news is that the regularity of being read to does increase as children get older – but not by enough. A third of South African children under 5 don’t get read to at all.

Mission
Ilifa Labantwana works to secure an equal start for all children living in South Africa, through universal access to quality early childhood development.

Data

SA children 0-5 being read to    

Reading is an important form of stimulation and teaches babies and children about communication; introduces them to numbers, letters, colours and shapes; develops their listening, memory and vocabulary skills; and enables them to understand the world around them.

Despite evidence supporting that babies should be read to from day one, data collected during the General Household Survey 2016 shows that half of children under 2 are never read to. The good news is that the regularity of being read to does increase as children get older – but not by enough. A third of South African children under 5 don’t get read to at all.

Latest updates

Our blog, publications, and research

Are you ready for Think Future 2?

Our sister organisation Innovation Edge will be hosting the second Think Future conference from 14-16 October in Stellenbosch, South Africa. What is Think Future? A 2.5 day unconventional event focused on innovation for early childhood development. It brings together...

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ELOM published in Peer Review Journal

An article on the development and use of one of our investments, the Early Learning Outcomes Measure (ELOM) has been published in a peer review journal – Child: Care, Health & Development (2019). ELOM is a rigorously standardised, culturally fair and simple to...

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Short video answers question “What is ECD?”

Need a quick and easy tool to use in order to explain early childhood development? Well, look no further as we’ve developed a short and simple video explaining ECD and its importance for children’s later success. The video is great for explaining the concept to anyone...

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  • There are 6 million children aged 0 – 5 years in South Africa. 100%
  • 4 million of them receive the Child Support Grant and they need subsidised early learning. 66%
  • Only 1 million of children who need subsidised early learning – or 25% – are receiving it. 25%