The 2021 Early Childhood Development (ECD) Census results have shown the number of children accessing ECD services and the number of practitioners providing these services.
In a statement, DBE Minister, Angie Motshekga shared:
The department’s planning and funding systems will likely fail to reach the poorest children most in need of public assistance.
It has been confirmed that there on average, there are 6.2 ECD programmes per 1000 children between 0-5 years in South Africa.
The top three provinces with the highest number of centres are the following:
- Gauteng - 25%
- KwaZulu-Natal - 19%
- Eastern Cape and Limpopo - 13%.
The census revealed that there are high enrolments for children aged 3 - 5 in urban areas compared to enrolments in rural areas.
Research has also shown that children learn through play, with 44% of respondents saying that children spend up to an hour of free play outside and on the other hand, 33% of the respondents shared that free play is part of their daily programme.
More than two-thirds of the centres are registered as a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO). In terms of funding, 33% of these centres have received a subsidy from the Department of Social Development.
On 1 April 2022, ECDs officially migrated from the Department of Social Development (DSD) to Basic Education. Minister Angie Motshekga has confirmed that this department is committed to working closely with other departments within government, private sector, and civil society groups in providing access to quality ECD.