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THE first leg of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) transfer to the Department of Basic of Education (DBE) from the Department of Social Development is starting, with the ECD census under way.
The ECD Census 2021, commissioned by the Department of Basic Education and funded by the LEGO Foundation, is aimed at counting all ECD programmes in the country. The data collected during the nationwide census of ECD programmes will assist the partners to better understand the ECD landscape in South Africa.
Data information sourced from the census will be used to build a data management information system for the ECD sector, and provide a basic assessment of the enabling environment for quality learning through play.
The census will give the DBE some understanding of how best to unlock the power of play to learn and invest in the future during the earliest stages of children’s development.
The survey will also make observations on the facilities available at the sites, to enable planning for greater inclusion of children with disabilities and the delivery of integrated health and safety programmes.
LEGO foundation director in South Africa, Kerry Kassen said: “The LEGO Foundation is invested in supporting and building the systems that will enable quality learning through play to thrive in ECD settings. For more than a decade, we have partnered with organisations to build a brighter future for children in South Africa through a play-based approach.”
Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga has urged all ECD centres to participate in the census,
“The department, together with the LEGO Foundation and all involved partners, are excited to undertake the first national census, which will broaden access to quality learning for every South African child.
“We urge all registered and unregistered centres in all corners of the country to participate in the census which has commenced this week as this will enable planning for greater inclusion, especially of children with disabilities and the delivery of integrated health and safety programmes.”
Using all lists available from campaigns initiated by the Department of Social Development, the fieldworkers employed by Ikapadata will contact each ECD programme to schedule a visit to conduct a short interview and record observations of the facility.
In February, at the State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that he would be moving the ECD under the DBE.
Ramaphosa signed the proclamation relating to the transfer of powers of the ECD sector to the DBE.
The second proclamation, which had to be signed by the premiers, was also signed.