Question NW1295 to the Minister of Basic Education to ask the Minister of Basic Education

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24 June 2020 - NW1295

Profile picture: Van Der Walt, Ms D

Van Der Walt, Ms D to ask the Minister of Basic Education to ask the Minister of Basic Education

With regard to the migration of Early Childhood Development (ECD) to her department, what is the current number of (a) registered and (b) unregistered ECD centers in each province?


(a) and (b) 

In preparing for the function shift, it has emerged that limited accurate information on Early Childhood Development (ECD) delivery currently exists. It is therefore, not possible to provide the number of registered and unregistered ECD programmes per province. 

Many actors in the sector have realised this, and various projects are underway to address this need:

Department of Social Development (DSD) database:  Starting in 2016, the DSD, in collaboration with Ilifa Labantwana, undertook to collate all the information on registered ECD programmes that existed at a district level.  This database contains information on about 18 500 ECD programmes.  However, using General Household Survey data, it is estimated that there could be about 40 000 – 60 000 ECD programmes that exist nationally; suggesting that the 18 500 is still a gross undercount.

Vangasali:  On 02 June 2020, the DSD in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, launched the Vangasali campaign, as part of Child Protection Week.  The purpose of the campaign is to crowd-source information on how many ECD programmes there are, and where the ECD programmes are located.  Although this campaign strives to find all registered and unregistered programmes, the data is self-reported; and the data collection process does not entail comprehensive verification of all the information received.

ECD census, including ECD in the Education Management Information System (EMIS):  Building on both these projects, the DBE, with funding from the LEGO Foundation, is planning to do a census of all registered and unregistered ECD programmes in 2021.  Using both the Ilifa database and the Vangasali database, the census will entail fieldworkers physically validating the existence of the ECD programmes in these databases, as well as all other programmes that they can find, to check the registration requirements of the programmes; and enter the programme into a database, which will serve as the baseline ECD EMIS database.  This should then allow the DBE to provide accurate information on the number of registered and unregistered ECD programme in each province.

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