The Early Childhood Development Support Fund is calling on investors and donors to help save the ECD sector. Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives
The Early Childhood Development Support Fund is calling on investors and donors to help save the ECD sector. Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Investors, donors urged to help fund Early Childhood Development sector

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Oct 20, 2020

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The Early Childhood Development (ECD) Support Fund is appealing to donors and investors to help save the sector.

The ECD sector is under threat, with skilled practitioners losing their livelihood. The loss of skilled professionals and knowledge in the sector will, in turn, impact on young children’s continued access to quality early learning and development programmes as they start to reopen.

Leonard Saul, the CEO of the South African Congress for ECD, said the national lockdown imposed on March 27 meant ECD centres had to close. About 175 000 ECD practitioners lost their jobs.

“Parents did not pay monthly fees because their children were at home, resulting in no income to the ECD centre which pays the salaries of the ECD practitioners. To date, very few ECD centres have reopened due to a lack of resources to provide PPEs and also because parents are not sending children to attend programmes. Many ECD centres closed down leaving ECD practitioners without an income and in some centres which reopened, ECD practitioners were retrenched due to a low income,” said Saul.

ECD Support Fund chairperson Queen Mgobhozi said through the fundraising they hoped to raise R5 million. This amount would ensure that ECD programmes remained open and practitioners’ jobs were saved.

The funds would improve the lives of about 14 000 children in 547 ECD programmes, benefiting 1 368 ECD practitioners and educators.

“This Fund will assist in ensuring that our young children continue to receive much-needed early learning opportunities that will not only ensure that they have a good start in life during their early years but to be able to contribute to the long-term prosperity of our nation,” she said.

ECD programmes lay a foundation in preparing children, from birth to age 6, for formal education.

Director of Training and Resource in Early Education (TREE) Ruby Motaung said: “It is paramount that the strength of the NGO sector in ECD, as a voice of the communities, be combined with that of all relevant government and other stakeholders and the public to ensure that our youngest citizens continue to have access to quality early learning opportunities now, and for years to come.”

To support:

Citizens:

1. Make the decision to contribute.

2. Decide how much you can contribute (once-off or a number of times).

3. Pay it into the bank account of the ECD Support Fund and send us an email with proof of payment.

4. Tell your friends and family, and spread the word on social media using #ECDSUPPORTFUND.

Corporates:

You can contribute directly into the ECD Support Fund.

You can ask your employees to collect and make a contribution to the ECD Support Fund as an internal CSI initiative.

Donors and Philanthropic Organisations

Your organisation can contribute directly into the ECD Support Fund.

* Tax exemption certificates in the form of Section 18A letters will be provided by Necda (The National Early Childhood Development Alliance) in return for donations received.

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