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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Childhood Education
Title Early Learning Assessment Innovation in South Africa: A locally appropriate monitoring tool
Volume 94
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2018
Page numbers 12-16
Increasing access to early learning opportunities is a high priority around the world. But how do we know whether children’s participation in such programs is helping them once they enter school?
In 2015, Innovation Edge commissioned the development of South Africa's first national-level preschool child assessment tool. The project's key innovations were that the tool should fairly assess children from across the cultural and socio-economic spectrum, be inexpensive in terms of equipment and administration costs, and be administered in about 45 minutes. Rather than professional evaluators, well-trained persons with a background in early childhood education would serve as assessors.
Finalized in 2016, the primary purpose of the Early Learning Outcomes Measure (ELOM) ( is to provide the country with a national instrument to fairly assess children age 50-69 months from all socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. ELOM draws on national early learning standards to define what it means to be “on track” in our context. With this tool, we will be able to monitor early learning program outcomes, guide program improvement, and test program effectiveness.

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