Early Childhood Development Practitioner




OFO No: 234201

In demand! – The ETDP sector has identified a need for over 3000 Childhood Practitioners.


What is an Early Childhood Development Practitioner?

Early Childhood Development (ECD) is the phase between birth and the school-going age (pre-school or creche). This is when children learn foundational cognitive abilities, attitudes, and skills, preparing them for primary schooling and the rest of their lives.

Early Childhood Development Practitioners plan, organise and conduct activities to help pre-primary school learners develop a wide variety of skills including speech, reading, writing, motor skills and social interaction.

Other names for an Early Childhood Development Practitioner:

  • Early Childcare Teacher
  • Kindergarten Teacher
  • Nursery school Teacher
  • Playschool Teacher

What does an Early Childhood Development Practitioner do?

  • Plans ways to teach children indoor and outdoors
  • Chooses educational material to suit the needs of the children
  • Co-ordinates activities to help develop motor skills, build confidence etc
  • Promotes language development through story-telling, songs and discussions
  • Keeps children safe at all times
  • Discusses progress of the child/children with parents or guardians
  • Applies first aid for sick or injured children  
  • Stays in contact with parents in case of an emergency

Are you … ?

  • interested in the development of young children?
  • patient?
  • caring?
  • wanting to teach?
  • understanding?
  • willing to research new and improved teaching methods and materials?
  • observant?
  • a good communicator with children?

How do I become an Early Childhood Development Practitioner?

You will need a qualification. There are lots of ways to become an Early Childhood Development Practitioner.

  • Further Education and Training Certificate in Early Childhood Development (NQF Level 4)
  • National Diploma in Early Childhood Development (NQF Level 5)
    Higher Certificate in Early Childhood Development (NQF Level 5)
  • Advanced Certificate in Education – Foundation Phase and Early Childhood Development (NQF Level 6) (this qualification is usually followed by people who are already qualified as educators)
  • Bachelor of Primary Education in Early Childhood Development (NQF Level 7)
  • Bachelor of Education in Early childhood Development – Foundation Phase (NQFLevel 8)

You can do some of these at a TVET (FET) College and some South African universities.

  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you.
  • NOTE: Each institution has its own entry requirements. Check with your institution of choice that you match theirs.


Once you’ve graduated, you will be required to register with the South African Council for Educators (SACE) as an Educator.




OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER: Art Teacher or Foundation Phase School Teacher

Is becoming an Early Childhood Development Practitioner the right career choice for me?