Early Childhood Development Centres, which some of us call crèches, are allowed to stay open during the Adjusted Level 4 Lockdown period.
Although the President did not announce it, in the government gazette for the latest regulations, it read:
Early childhood development centres will remain open.
This has been welcomed with many saying that it's a much needed service for children to stay safe and be cared for. Some have said that if these centres were closed, it would have been disastrous.
One principal said that if their centre closes, child care would be a big challenge because many parents go to work with only a small percentage working from home.
Centre for Early Childhood Development Director, Eric Atmore, said:
Early childhood development is so important and the learning possibilities that young children receive are important. Linked to that is the fact that for many children, their primary meal they get at the ECD centre.
The Department of Social Development is in charge of these centres and has been criticised for their lack of leadership.
Schools have closed today, a week earlier than planned, for winter break and will reopen on 26 July. With teaching staff staying behind to complete administrative tasks, schools will officially be closed from Friday.
Government has also been criticised for not including ECD staff in the vaccine rollout for the education sector which is now a week in.
“It makes no sense, once again we have been let down. ECD teachers are teachers too, they take care of an enormous number of children,” said Sandy Immelman from Masikhule, an organisation that trains ECD educators in marginalised communities of the Helderberg area.
The ECD workforce comprises of 180 000 workers with only 42 000 of them falling under the Department of Basic Education while the majority fall under the Department of Social Development.