National ECD Certificate


National ECD Certificate: NQF LEVEL 4


The purpose of the qualification is to:

  1. Enable learners to facilitate the all-round development of young children in a manner that is sensitive to individual needs (including special needs) and culture-fair within a specific phase of development and with specialisation in a particular setting or role.
  2. Provide further education and training opportunities for those with a NQF Level 1 qualification (or equivalent) as well as 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.
  3. Develop ECD educators with a sound practical qualifications to provide quality early childhood development services for children in community-based services.

This qualification provides an opportunity for:

  1. Existing learners/educators who have acquired a Level 1 ECD qualification to further their career path in ECD.
  2. Potential learners/educators who have acquired a GETC qualification or its equivalent to embark on a career in ECD (entry point).


The Level 4 ECD qualification is comparable with the following qualifications:

  • Level 2 NCVQ/SCVQ* in Child Care and Education qualifications in the UK
  • Child Development Associate (CDA) qualification in the USA (Level 1)


In order to achieve the exit outcomes of this qualification, learners need the following knowledge, skills, attitudes and values:

  • functional literacy, viz. ability to communicate effectively in their first language, both orally and in writing;
  • ability to understand and use a second language for everyday communication;
  • sufficient mathematical/numeracy skills (add, subtract, multiply and divide);
  • an understanding of the basic needs of young children would be an advantage.


The qualification can be achieved as a whole or in part through the recognition of prior learning.


  1. Provide a wide variety of developmentally appropriate learning activities that support and extend learning.
  2. A range of skills and techniques is used appropriately to mediate children`s learning on an individual basis, in small and large groups.
  3. Demonstrate inclusive anti-bias attitudes, values and practices in all aspects of the learning programme.
  4. Protect the safety of children and adults and support good health practices.
  5. Support each child’s emotional and social development in ways that help them learn to manage their own behaviour.
  6. Establish positive and supportive relationships with co-workers, families and the community.
  7. Manage a well-run, purposeful learning programme responsive to children`s interests and developmental needs.
  8. Demonstrate commitment to the development of high-quality ECD services.


  1. Identify and solve a variety of problems showing that responsible decisions have been made based on knowledge of early childhood development and teaching practices.
  2. Work effectively with others as a member of a teaching team and in cooperation with family members and the community in supporting early childhood development.
  3. Organise oneself and one`s activities responsibly to manage an effective learning programme that meets the needs and interests of young children.
  4. Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information relating to children`s needs and progress in the ECD programme.
  5. Communicate effectively with co-workers, children, their families and community members using visual materials and language skills, mainly verbal but also in writing.
  6. Use appropriate technology in making learning resources and solving problems relating to children`s health and safety, showing responsibility towards the environment.
  7. Demonstrate an 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 ECD services.


  1. Reflect on and explore 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 facilitating the learning and development of its young children in co-operation with families and advocating children`s rights to quality learning opportunities.
  3. Be culturally and aesthetically sensitive across a range of social contexts by exploring and implementing anti-bias and culture-fair attitudes, values and practices that also involve art, music and dramatic play activities.
  4. Explore education and career opportunities in the ECD sub-field.
  5. Develop entrepreneurial opportunities in setting up and managing ECD services, learning basic administrative skills and craft skills in making learning resources.