Basic Education Department To Take Over ECDs in April 2022

Basic Education Department To Take Over ECDs in April 2022

The Basic Education Department is set to take over the functioning of Early Childhood Development (ECD) from the Department of Social Development in April next year. 

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1 April 2022 will see the management of Early Childhood Development (ECD) be shifted from the Department of Social Development to the Department of Basic Education (DBE).

The Departments held a joint sitting in which they briefed the portfolio committees of both departments on the progress of the Early Childhood Development function shift.

In a statement issued, the departments said President Cyril Ramaphosa has subsequently signed a proclamation transferring powers of the ECD function to the Basic Education Minister.

To this end, the two departments established various governance structures to ensure a seamless transfer of responsibilities. The departments have further reached a consensus on the scope of the function shift. 

The statement added that provisions from both Chapter 5 and Chapter 6 of the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No. 38 of 2005) have been identified for transfer.

Based on the recommendation from the Office of the Chief State Law Advisors, we have drafted two Proclamations. The first Proclamation is signed by the President, while the second Proclamation is signed by the Premiers for the transfer of power and functions to the MEC responsible for Basic Education in each province.

Both departments further briefed the joint committee on progress made regarding the ECD function shift, particularly in relation to the ECD Census 2021 and the South African Early Years Index and Baseline Assessment. 

Information from this Census will be used to integrate ECD into the DBE’s Education Management Information System (EMIS) and thus expand the provision of education support programmes, as well as play-based learning.

The information gained through the [South African Early Years Index and Baseline Assessment] will allow the DBE to report on Sustainable Development Goal 4.2.2 on the proportion of 4-year-olds who are developmentally on track. 

This, according to the statement, will also enable the Department of Basic Education to track the improvements that have been made in the quality of ECD provision over the next five to 10 years.

 

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