Introduction/ OVERVIEW OF THE CONFERENCE
This conference is the last of the SARAECE regional conferences in 2017 and aims to cap off the year on a high point. Early Childhood Education is a complex space that has recently shifted its’ focus from the importance of Grade R to trying to professionalise the birth to four age group through developing new qualifications and recognising the importance of the first 1000 days. Running alongside this initiative has been the re-examining of the role of play-based learning as an approach to pedagogy. Research into understanding the challenges of training teachers / practitioners in order to address the need for quality Early Childhood Development (ECD) is at the heart of the work of training institutions. This has highlighted issues such as diversity, multilingual classrooms, mentorship of teachers, work integrated learning and recognition of prior learning. Perhaps most importantly it has brought together multiple stakeholders involved in the field of ECD and recognised the importance of a collaborative effort. This conference aims to bring these voices together in order to share our collective research and practices with a view to deepening our understanding of how best to serve the needs of our teachers/practitioners and children in the classrooms.
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(SARAECE) Eastern Cape Regional conference