Last year, reports emerged that South Africa was not ready to roll out a high-quality early learning programme for all its children. The potential in this investment, should it work, is huge: studies show that investments in education tend to be money better spent earlier on. But research showed that there were significant gaps in the quality that would be on offer. Now, experts have added that the quality cannot be improved unless there are tools available to measure the effectiveness of ECD programmes. MARELISE VAN DER MERWE investigates.