The CSD envisions vibrant communities that take responsibility for the early childhood developmental needs of their children as a foundation for achieving human potential.
The CSD facilitates the development of early childhood communities and imparts skills to teachers and practitioners to strengthen community owned initiatives.
Our Practice is based on a caring professionalism that builds relationships which affirm and support the ability of people to arrive at their own solutions.
It takes a village to raise a child.
Where ECD teachers and community leaders learn.
The CSD was established in August 1981 by Ms Thelma Henderson as a Unit of Rhodes University with the Vice-Principal as its Chair and with donor funding from the Anglo-American and De Beers Chairman’s Fund.
The aims of the CSD included:
Through the years, CSD’s activities contributed significantly to the objectives of the University. CSD was first linked with the Department of Social Work so that students could become more closely involved in community affairs.
In 1999, the University redefined the relationship between the CSD and the University to make the Centre the interface between Rhodes and its communities. At this time a Senate Committee for Community Engagement was created. The CSD, under the directorship of Ms Di Hornby was asked to formalise the community engagement function of the university. In 2010 the university established a Community Engagement Directorate, with a dedicated Director of Community Engagement.
While the university’s Directorate of Community Engagement focuses on a broad range of programmes involving the civic and social responsibility of all students and staff of the university, CSD focuses on early childhood development of children from conception to the age of about nine within their households, neighbourhoods and ECD programmes.
The CSD is a self-funded institute which falls under the Faculty of Education. It is in the unique position of linking