The Essential Package

Early childhood services and support to young children in South Africa

This publication defines the essential components that are required for the healthy development of the country’s most vulnerable young children, to promote their growth and well-being.

The Essential Package, in line with the National Integrated ECD Policy, views ECD services as a continuum of interventions, with the immediate family offering primary level care and support.

The Essential Package focuses primarily on prevention and early intervention services, with provision for referrals for more intensive interventions, where necessary.

This document was developed by Ilifa, through a consultative process with a range of stakeholders, including early childhood experts and ECD programme managers.

The Essential Package covers the period from conception to the end of a child’s fifth year.

Published by Ilifa in July 2014.