Exploring the 'R' in SARAECE: A journey to new beginnings​

The 8th of February 2022 was a landmark day in the history of SARAECE (South African Research Association for
Early Childhood Education) as SANTS Private Higher Education Institute in Pretoria, our new academic home, hosted us for a day long strategic planning session to explore the research (big R) aspect of our association. We were privileged to have key players in the education arena, attend and contribute to this meeting. Prof Jonathan Jansen and Prof Eric Atmore both attended online as did our Deputy President, Dr Naseema Shaik and Dr Geeta Motilal. Prof Ina Joubert (Executive Academic
Director at SANTS and SARAECE committee member); Prof Hasina Ebrahim (UNESCO Co-Chair ECD and SARAECE
committee member); Dr Linda Bosman (SARAECE President); Dr Colwyn Martin (SARAECE committee member); Dr Peter Aloka & Dr Erasmos Charamba (ECD researchers at WITS); Ms Michaela Ashley-Cooper (SARAECE Deputy President) and Dr Mary Clasquin-Johnson (Barriers to learning specialist at UNISA) were also present face-to-face. The purpose of this meeting was to reflect on SARAECE’s role with regard to research, how we can carry specifically Early Childhood research forward into the limelight. We considered aspects such as long-term compelling research creating data to support urgent change in the Early Childhood Care and Education sector. We also paid attention to aspects like mentorship of researchers; ethical clearance support; and establishing a ‘go-to’ place for ECD research. We received valuable advice and support from our delegates and will be making some exciting changes to SARAECE in the future – watch this space!