The Early Childhood Development (ECD) Census has been progressing well since its national launch on 26 August 2021.
The fieldworkers will have visited and counted early childhood development programmes in over 75% of all wards in the country by end-November. This equates to over 38,000 ECD programmes that are providing early learning and care to more than 1,4 million enrolled children and employing over 170,000 staff. It is anticipated that the majority of the field work, which commenced during September 2021, will be completed by mid-December with the remainder of the work extending into January 2022.
Ms Kulula Manona, DBE’s Chief Director for Foundations for Learning said that, “the DBE is encouraged by the collaboration from the sector in ensuring that the ECD Census is a success. Although we still have 25% to go, the information already collected has provided valuable insights into the challenges faced by the sector. This information is already being used to inform our planning for the coming years.”
The Census is aimed at collecting data on all ECD programmes to have a better understanding of the sector’s landscape. “We urge all registered and unregistered centres across the country to participate in the Census, which commenced on 23 August 2021 in the Free State, Northern Cape and the North-West Provinces. This will enable planning for greater inclusion, especially for children with disabilities and the delivery of integrated health and safety programmes,” Basic Education Minister, Mrs Angie Motshekga, explained during the virtual launch of the ECD Census.
In addition, the Census, taking place from August to December 2021, will map a master list and integrate information into the Education Management Information System (EMIS), thus expanding the provision of education support programmes, as well as play-based learning. Funded by the LEGO Foundation, the data and indicators of the ECD Census will help everyone active in the ECD space to understand how to unlock the power of play as a tool for learning and healthy development.