Departments of Basic Education and Social Development give brief joint session of portfolio committees on change of function of ECD

The Departments of Basic Education and Social Development today briefed a joint session of the Basic Education and Social Development Portfolio Committees on the progress of the early childhood development function change.

Following the Early Childhood Development (ECD) announcements in the State of the Nation Address of February 2019, the Departments of Basic Education (DBE) and Social Development (DSD) have worked tirelessly to the realization of the change of responsibilities for the provision of ECD services. .

The President signed the proclamation relating to the transfer of powers of the DPE function from the Minister of Social Development to the Minister of Basic Education.

To this end, the two ministries have established various governance structures to ensure a smooth transfer of responsibilities. Departments also reached consensus on the scope of the change in function. The provisions of Chapter 5 (only with regard to ECD programs) and Chapter 6 of the Children’s Act 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005) have been identified for transfer. Based on the recommendation of the Office of the Chief Legal Advisers of the State (OCSLA), we drafted two proclamations. The first Proclamation is signed by the President, while the second Proclamation is signed by the Prime Ministers for the transfer of powers and functions to the MEC responsible for basic education in each province.

The proclamations further specify that the implementation date of the DPE function change will be April 1, 2022.

In view of the start of the implementation process, the two departments jointly briefed the members of the portfolio committee today, 25 August 2021, on the progress made regarding the change of DPE function. The following activities will be undertaken:

DPE census:

The information collected as part of the census will be used to integrate the ECD into the education management information system (EMIS) of the DBEs and thus extend the offer of educational support programs as well as learning. through play. Funded by the LEGO Foundation, the data and indicators will also establish a baseline against which to assess the quality of play-based learning in South Africa. The census will take place from August to December 2021. All registered and unregistered ECD centers are strongly encouraged to participate, as this will expand access to quality learning for every South African child. The virtual launch of the ECD census takes place on Thursday 26 August.

South African Early Years Index and Baseline Assessment

The South African Early Years Index is a nationally representative survey of the learning and development outcomes of young children aged 4 to 5 years. The information obtained through the index will enable the DBE to report on the sustainable development objective 4.2.2. on the proportion of 4-year-olds whose development is on track. It will also allow DBE to track the improvements we make to the quality of the ECD offering over the next five to ten years. The index will be accompanied by a series of contextual questionnaires that will help the DBE understand the context in terms of infrastructure, governance, qualifications, resources, nutrition and curriculum implementation. Data collection for the Early Years Index has started and will continue until October 2021.

Stakeholder Engagement Dialogue Series:

In collaboration with the National Education Collaboration Trust, monthly stakeholder engagement sessions will be organized on specific themes relevant to the challenges of the sector. The first event is being organized for August 30, 2021 during which the DBE will engage the industry on the envisioned service delivery model.

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