Further Education and Training Certificate: Early Childhood Development

SAQA ID: 58761

Level: 4

Credits: 140

Purpose of the course

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 of this Qualification 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 early childhood development services for children in a variety of contexts, including community-based services, ECD centres, at home and in institutions.

This course will enable you 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.

  • 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. This 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.

Course rationale:

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 thus a vast need for ECD services, and it is critical that the field should be served by competent practitioners. In order to meet the needs at ECD level, it is important to be able to identify and recognise competent ECD practitioners who are able to work in a variety of ECD contexts. 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.

Learning assumed to be in place and recognition of prior learning

Communication and Mathematical Literacy at NQF level 3 or equivalent.

Second language at NQF level 2 or equivalent.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL):

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.

Qualification rules

The Qualification consists of a Fundamental, a Core and an Elective Component. To be awarded the Qualification, learners are required to obtain a minimum of 140 credits as detailed below.

Fundamental Component:

The Fundamental Component consists of Unit Standards in:

  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4 to the value of 16 credits.

  • Communication at NQF Level 4 in a First South African Language to the value of 20 credits.

  • Communication in a Second South African Language at NQF Level 3 to the value of 20 credits.

It is compulsory therefore for learners to do Communication in two different South African languages, one at NQF Level 4 and the other at NQF Level 3. All Unit Standards in the Fundamental Component are compulsory.


Core Component:

The Core Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 64 credits all of which are compulsory.


Elective Component:

The Elective Component consists of Unit Standards to the value of 165 credits. Learners are to choose Unit Standards to the minimum of 20 credits.

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