Bhalisa Inkulisa

Streamlining partial care registration


The majority of children in South Africa, who are currently accessing early learning services, do so through ECD centres – also known as pre-schools, crèches, or “inkhulisa” in isiZulu.

All ECD centres must be registered with the Department of Social Development (DSD).  This is known as partial care registration, and is important because:

  • partial care registration means that government knows about the ECD centre
  • the Children’s Act requires all premises where more than 6 children are cared for by caregivers who are not their own, to have partial care registration
  • partial care registration ensures the safety and suitability of an ECD site for children
  • partial care registration gives parents and guardians a standard by which to make informed choices when sending their children to an ECD centre
  • partial care registration is a pre-requisite to government funding of ECD sites, by means of the early learning subsidy. The subsidy is especially important for centres operating in low-income areas where parents can’t afford high fees.

DSD is committed to assisting all ECD centres achieve partial care registration.  Bhalisa Inkhulisa was developed by Ilifa, NAG, and KwaZulu-Natal’s DSD to streamline the partial care registration process.

Bhalisa Inkulisa is a system of working

Bhalisa Inkulisa assists DSD in identifying ECD centres, and in moving them quickly through the partial care registration process.

More identified centres means more children on the system. More registered centres means more children accessing the government’s early learning subsidy.

Bhalisa Inkulisa has impact on a national scale

Since its inception three years ago, 29 DSD service centres in KZN have adopted Bhalisa Inkulisa and have seen registration time decline from 12 months to just three months.

Meanwhile, the lessons and research into ECD regulatory and infrastructure systems we accumulated through developing Bhalisa Inkhulisa, has been used to inform National Treasury’s ECD Conditional Grant framework.

Join the movement   

In 2017, Bhalisa Inkulisa was adopted by four Eastern Cape districts. If you would like more information about Bhalisa Inkulisa for your province or municipality, send us an email on