Higher ECD Certificate: NQF LEVEL 5


The Higher Certificate is designed to provide access to higher education for many experienced and skilled ECD practitioners and trainers who do not have recognised qualifications. The purpose of this qualification is to:

  1. Develop ECD ETD practitioners (e.g. home-based, centre- and school-based practitioners including Grade R, family and community ECD motivators, fieldworkers, facilitators, trainers and managers) to provide appropriate education, training and development services in the ECD sub-field.
  2. Enable ECD ETD practitioners to use their knowledge of child growth and development from birth to five years and relevant national policies to guide their professional practice in the ECD sub-field.

This qualification provides an opportunity for:

  1. practitioners with a Level 4 certificate or equivalent in ECD to further their professional development in ECD by providing access to higher education and training qualifications and/or to specialise in aspects of ECD practice (e.g. Grade R) or specific roles (e.g. managers, trainers etc.).
  2. Practitioners with a Primary Teachers Certificate (PTC), Primary Teachers Diploma (PTD), or an equivalent of 120 credits to obtain an ECD certificate, within the pre-school phase.


The Level 5 ECD qualification is comparable with the following qualification:

• Associate degree (2 years) in Early Childhood Education/Child Development in the USA (Level 2 qualification)
• No detailed comparison has been undertaken as yet. Outcomes-based standards have apparently been developed by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) in Washington, DC.
• When planning on immigrating, YOU need to contact the new country’s Department of Education to see if they will accept your qualification – as it differs from country to country.


In order to achieve the exit outcomes of this qualification, learners need the following knowledge and skills equivalent to NQF Level 4:

  • The ability to read, write and use written resource material for learning and teaching in at least two South African languages – of which one should be ENGLISH.
  • The ability to understand fundamental mathematical/numeracy concepts;
  • The applied competence outlined in the core unit standards at Level 4:
  • Facilitate Active Learning in ECD Programmes,
  • Facilitate Healthy Development in ECD Programmes, and
  • Manage the ECD Learning Programme.


  1. Mediate active learning in an integrated and holistic learning programme.
  2. Facilitate learning and development of children with barriers to learning and other special needs, including those coping with abuse and violence, within an inclusive anti-bias approach.
  3. Promote the safety and healthy development of each child.
  4. Work with colleagues, families and community systems to develop each child`s potential as fully as possible.
  5. Manage a well-planned and organised learning programme to meet the needs of individual children within the framework of the national school curriculum (where appropriate).
  6. Select and use appropriate methods and procedures for assessing children`s progress and reporting on this to parents.
  7. Promote the development of high quality ECD programmes and services.


  1. Identify and solve varied and unforeseen of problems showing that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made in managing the learning programme.
  2. Work effectively with others as a member of a teaching team, an organisation and the community in advocating early childhood development showing initiative and leadership when needed.
  3. Organise oneself and one`s activities responsibly to manage an effective learning programme that meets the diverse needs and interests of individual children.
  4. Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information relating to the community and to individual children`s needs and progress in the ECD programme.
  5. Communicate with children and adults using a variety of media creatively and effectively.
  6. Use technology effectively and critically in managing the learning programme, showing responsibility towards the environment and the health of others.
  7. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the holistic and integrated nature of child development and the interaction of various social, economic and environmental systems in creating and solving problems related to providing high-quality ECD services.


  1. Reflect critically on one`s own learning strategies and those used by young children.
  2. Participate as a responsible citizen in the life of the local community by actively promoting the learning and development of its young children in co-operation with families and by advocating children`s rights to quality learning opportunities.
  3. Be culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social contexts by and critically implementing anti-bias and culture-fair attitudes, values and practices that also involve creative art, music and dramatic play activities.
  4. Explore education and career opportunities in the ECD sub-field and related sectors through opportunities for role specialisation.
  5. Develop entrepreneurial skills in setting up and managing a well-run ECD service to meet identified needs in the community.