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June 24, 2022

Early Childhood Development shows significant benefits

Community Chest focus on Early Childhood Development (ECD)

Together the Community Chests of Durban and Pietermaritzburg, annually support 173 non-profit organisations with funding and donations-in-kind to the value of R22 million in the human welfare sector.

For the 2022 Comrades Marathon Campaign the Community Chests are focusing on Early Childhood Development and the funds raised by our runners will support 6 000 children that we assist on a daily basis, through 33 Community Impact Partners.

The first one thousand days in a child’s life hold the key to unlocking his/her life-long potential. By the age of 5, almost 90% of a child’s brain will be developed.

These are the formative years and factors such as the below will influence, to a large extent, his/her future as an adult:

·        adequate healthcare,

·        good nutrition,

·        good quality childcare and nurturing,

·        a clean and safe environment,

·        early learning and stimulation.

Children whose earliest years are marred by hunger or disease or who are not stimulated by appropriate interaction with adults and their environment, pay for these early deficits throughout their lives - and so does society.

Such children are far more likely than their more fortunate peers to:

·        do poorly in school,

·        drop out early,

·        to be functionally illiterate,

·        and to be only marginally employable in today's increasingly high-technology world.

A significant percentage of South African children experience developmental difficulties by the time they reach Grade 0. About 25% - or one of out of four - five-year-olds battle with basic, age-appropriate tasks such as holding a crayon, following simple instructions and interacting appropriately with other children.

Fact: It’s true that poverty and insecure home environments increase the risk of developmental problems. The highest number of vulnerable children are to be found in the poorest and most disadvantaged communities.

Research shows us that children whose development is nurtured early in life are more likely to:

be successful in school, have fewer learning disabilities, be more likely to finish high school and seek further education or training,

▪   be more productive in the workforce, get better jobs, earn more and pay taxes and own their own homes, and

▪   be healthier throughout their lives, physically and mentally, with reduced risk of heart disease, Type II diabetes, obesity, depression, and substance abuse.

Children are less likely to: 

▪   be involved in crime or with the criminal justice system, and

▪   require social assistance, child welfare or other income support.

In choosing Community Chest as your Charity of choice you are contributing significantly to the development and growth of disadvantaged and under-resourced children being helped at Creches and ECD Centres throughout KwaZulu-Natal.

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