NCF ECD Programme
Early Childhood Development Programme
Based on the
National Curriculum Framework (NCF)
and featuring the
6 ELDA's (Early Learning Development Areas).
Designed to help you confidently implement the National Curriculum Framework for children from birth to four years.
The programme is theme-based (see the themes here) and consists of a folder for each child and a guidebook with online resources for the teacher for each term.
Age groups:
Tiny Tots 18 months - 2 years, Toddlers 2 - 3,
Junior 3 - 4,  Senior 4 - 5 years.
The Folders (Junior and Senior)

For each of the four terms term each child receives:

A full colour folder containing:

  • 1 x A4 Activity pad which includes;

5 x Activity Sheets per theme,

Full colour cut-out pages for each theme,

A complete set of ELDA Observation Sheets,

Assessment sheets for each theme.

  • 1 x A2 poster,

  • 1 sheet of 20 self-assessment stickers,

  • 1 x A3 folded ELDA end-of-term report.

Available in English and Afrikaans.

The A3 Pads (Tiny Tots and Toddlers)

For each of the four terms term each child receives:
1 x A3 activity pad including:

Available in English and Afrikaans.

The Guidebooks
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There is a guidebook each term for the teacher. 1st Edition in Afrikaans and 2nd Edition in English.

The 2nd Edition guidebook contains all the Daily Lesson Plans and works together with the Online Resources.


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Afrikaans NCF Guidebooks

There is a comprehensive guidebook in Afrikaans each term for the teacher.

Afrikaans guidebooks remain in the original format (1st Edition) at this stage, because the online material is in English only. So you will still have Section 1 in Afrikaans and all the Daily Lesson Plans. However, Afrikaans customers have access to all the online resources as well.


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 Spider Module

Summer - Term 1 has 10 themes:


My body

My home

My family

Primary colours





Sea animals

Spider Module

Autumn - Term 2 has 10 themes:



Secondary colours

Animal homes


What is that made of?

Farm animals



Butterflies and beetles

Spider Module

Winter - Term 3 has 8 themes:



Going shopping




African animals

Road safety

Spider Module

Spring - Term 4 has 6 themes:



Keeping clean

Out in space

In the garden


The 6 ELDAs
The National Curriculum Framework (NCF)
The programme incorporates the 6 ELDAs from the NCF
Early Learning Development Area One - Well-being
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The child’s voice:
I need to experience an environment where I can enjoy good health, nutrition, safety and security and where I can develop confidence and resilience. I want to be happy. This is my right. 
I am usually physically very active and my body is developing and growing rapidly. I need enough nutritious food. Proper health care and a safe environment are very important to ensure growth and development. This is my right. 

Early Learning Development Area Two - Identity and Belonging
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The child’s voice:
I need to experience an environment where I develop a strong sense of self, experience positive relationships and celebrate differences. 

Early Learning Development Area Three - Communicating
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The child’s voice:
I need to experience an environment where I can learn to listen attentively, speak openly, learn to love books, stories and reading, record and to write, and to get ready for formal reading and writing as I grow and develop.

Early Learning Development Area 4 - Exploring Mathematics
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The child’s voice:
I need to experience an environment where I can find patterns, make connections, recognise relationships, work with numbers, sort out objects, match and classify things. This helps me to think, solve problems and ask questions.  

Early Learning Development Area 5 - Creativity
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The child’s voice:
I need to experience an environment where I can identify challenges and problems, try out solutions in safety and freedom and experiment with play, make believe play, drawing, painting, cutting and pasting, modelling and music, rhythm, dance and drama. 

ELDA 6 - Knowledge and understanding of the world
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The child’s voice
I want to make sense of my world through active participation in my real world and through practical experiments. Please support my learning by providing me opportunities to learn about people, objects, places, plants and creatures from my natural environment.

ELDA Observation sheets
  • On each day of the Day By Day NCF Programme there are suggested Observation points (things to observe about the children) taken from each ELDA and its Aims.
  • You don't have to search through the NCF document to find them.
  • There is a complete list of these Observations (137 in total) in each child’s Activity pad. These pages are taken out and placed in the child’s file where the teacher can record what has been observed.
  • You don't have to make copies and you can record your observations directly into this file.
How do the Observation Sheets benefit you?
These Observation Sheets are a tool for improving observation of the children, not a big stick to hit yourself with! Many of the observation points overlap in the different ELDAs and if you make observations from each ELDA you will get a balanced picture.
Why Observation sheets?
What are ELDA Observation sheets?

The National Curriculum Framework consists of guidelines for:
Observing the developmental and learning needs of each child. Planning activities to meet each child's own developmental needs and learning interests. Doing the activities with the children. Assessing children's developmental and learning needs and evaluating the ECD programme in terms of its ability to meet the needs of each child. Assessment in these early years in informal and is carried out every day for each child.  
In the NCF the emphasis in assessment is on observing children in an ongoing and  planned way, during their daily routines, structured and free play activities.   
Observation means watching carefully and listening carefully to each young child each day.  The guide to assessment is based on the six early learning areas and the suggestions for assessment for each. Adults use these suggestions as the basis for their observations of each child.  

Step 1: Prepare for assessment by organising: 

1. A note book to keep close by, in which dated notes can be jotted down about each child during the day on important milestones and challenges that the child faces.

2. A file for each child into which to transfer dated notes and to store all the information about the child (photocopies of the Road to Health card, registration details, copies of reports to parents, notes on discussions with parents and so on). 

3. A timetable of formal meeting times available for discussions with parents. 


Step 2: Generating and collecting evidence of achievement.  
The practitioner needs to remember what she has observed so that she can plan efficiently and effectively for each child's needs and interests, and so that she can discuss these needs and interests and her plans with the parents of each child.  
The best way to do this is to make notes on each child's key developments and interests. The notes will be based on the information in the six ELDAs. 
Observe each child's actions and behaviour each day.
Look at her actions to see the skills she is developing for example, sitting up, taking steps, twisting her body, holding a crayon, making marking on paper.
Listen to the sounds that the child makes ('a child speaks in a hundred languages')
Use the senses of smell and touch to observe illness in the child (for example, the smell of the child's breath, faeces, temperature, dryness, sweating).
Make notes on your observations. Written evidence is very important. This is especially so with health and safety, which are governed by law that is evidence of injuries, accidents, illness and steps taken to deal with these.
The parent and the ECD practitioners remember the key information about the child's development and learning. The ECD practitioner records this in writing first in her observation notes each day and then more formally in the reports of the child's progress and needs. 
 The Day By Day NCF ECD programme reports are designed specifically to transfer the information from the Observation sheets across to the report easily.

Activity Sheets
Why Activity Sheets?
Not all pre-schools are created equal and have the advantage of unlimited or even adequate resources. An Activity Sheet is an opportunity for a learning experience that might otherwise be missed. Our Activity Sheets sit at the centre of the Day By Day Programme, and have a value of their own, but should also be viewed in the context of the whole lesson plan.
What is the value of an Activity sheet on its own?
To illustrate how an activity sheet has value, let’s look at two simple examples, both taken from the Autumn Term Senior pad, and ask what does the child learn? 
First an ‘odd one out’ activity. 
1. Visual discrimination. To complete this activity the child must be able to see the differences between objects.
2. Direction. The child learns to work from left to right and top to bottom, one row at a time.
3. Theme related. Reinforce things learned about the theme, in this case the names of some animal homes. 
4. Fine motor skills. Develop pencil skills during colouring in, and hand-eye co-ordination.
Second a ‘counting’ activity. 
1. Number recognition. The children learn to recognise the numbers and their names.
2. Number value. Learn the value of each number, how many objects it represents.
3. One-to-one correspondence. Learn that six chickens is the same amount as six horses.
4. Theme related. Reinforce things learned about the theme, in this case the names of some farm animals. 
5. Fine motor skills. Develop cutting and pasting skills as the animals are cut out and pasted down.
What is the value of an Activity sheet in the lesson plan?
The role of the teacher
The teacher needs to take responsibility for how much the children benefit from an Activity Sheet.
This can be illustrated by looking at the different levels at which the children can experience the activity.
Highest level
  • Have a concrete activity with the children, before the Activity Sheet, that relates to the skill or concept of the Activity Sheet. 
  • Explain what is happening and what the children need to do.
  • Ask questions to see if the children understand and let them ask questions.
  • Give the children the Activity Sheet to complete.
  • The children benefit from the skills and concepts of the activity.
  • When they are done, have a brief one-on-one assessment. During this conversation the teacher can assess how well the child has understood the concept and note the progress of skills. 
  • This is recorded on an assessment sheet.
Medium level
  • Explain what is happening and what the children need to do. 
  • Ask questions to see if the children understand and let them ask questions. 
  • Give the children the Activity Sheet to complete.
  • The children benefit from the skills and concepts of the activity.
Lowest level
  • Put the Activity Sheet in front of the children without any directions. 
  • The children colour it in and may or may not benefit from the skills and concepts of the activity.

About us

​The theme-based programmes from Day By Day ECD are developed and produced in South Africa. Available in English and Afrikaans.

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Contact us


Phone 011 483 0871

Find us from January 2021:

Upstairs at Jetline, Canterbury Crossing Centre, Bram Fischer Drive, Randburg.

Online Resources

Find out more about the ONLINE RESOURCES and extra resources that are available to current customers.