Today marks the day that early childhood development (ECD) duties officially moved from the Department of Social Development (DSD) to the Department of Basic Education (DBE).
A handover took place in the event held in Pretoria on Friday morning where Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga officially received the ECD function from the Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu.
This after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced during his February 2019 State of the Nation Address (Sona) that the responsibility for ECD centres would be migrated to DBE.
This statement of commitment by the president created an opportunity to accelerate the provisioning and the redesign of the systems for state monitoring and support for ECD.
When handing over the ECD function, Zulu said the two departments had worked tirelessly to bring the function shift to fruition and ensure that all children in ECD centres receive quality education and support during their early stages.
Motshekga committed herself and all the basic education officials to work closely with organisations in the ECD sector.
“I commit myself and all the officials of basic education to work closely with other state departments, NGOs, civil society, partners and other entities to ensure that all children, including those with disabilities, are provided with access to quality ECD,” Motshekga said.
She further stated that the ECD function shift will be doomed without involving civil society, the corporate sector, religious organisations, non-governmental organisations, and parents.
“Its success depends on our collective understanding to achieve universal and equitable access to quality ECDs.”
Motshekga and Zulu signed a pledge committing their respective departments to the achievement of quality outcomes in the ECD function.