Ball rolling for implementation of the national ECD policy

Svetlana DonevaBlog, Blogs, The Policy Post0 Comments

As we move into 2017 we are seeing a growing momentum in foundational actions taken, at a departmental level, for implementation of the national ECD Policy. This issue of the Policy Post reflects on several key publications which are encouraging in that they reflect focused and strategic recognition, and actioning of ECD as a national priority. DBE publishes the TIMMS … Read More

ECD in 2016: the good, the bad and a growing to-do list

Svetlana DonevaBlog, The Policy Post0 Comments

2016 has been a good year for early childhood development in South Africa. The National Integrated ECD Policy was adopted Many more ECD centres, which had previously battled to register and improve access to quality services, were able to register and access the ECD subsidy, thanks to a more robust system of conditional registration Partly because of this registration drive, the … Read More

Policy Post: Where does ECD feature in the MTBPS 2016/17?

Svetlana DonevaBlog, Blogs, The Policy Post0 Comments

This Wednesday, Minister Pravin Gordhan presented South Africa’s annual mini budget – or the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, as it goes by formally.  The MTBPS is crucially important for the country, and for the ECD sector, as it gives an indication of what government is prioritising for spending in the next 3 years (the medium term).

Policy Post: Does Parliament really understand the ECD policy?

Svetlana DonevaBlog, Blogs, ECD News, The Policy Post0 Comments

Photo of parliament

On 6 September 2016, the Departments of Social Development (DSD) and Basic Education (DBE) made another presentation to the Basic Education Parliamentary Portfolio Committee. The minutes of the briefing and Q&A can be viewed here. The Departments noted that they, along with the Department of Health (DoH), were the primary duty-bearers, (supported by other departments as well as local government) … Read More

After the promises: a guide to ECD post the local government elections 2016

Svetlana DonevaBlog, The Policy Post0 Comments

Photo credit: The Guardian

(Photo credit: The Guardian) Well, the local government elections, and hopefully the celebratory or remorse hangovers, are now behind us. The newly elected administrations now face the hard work of making the many promises a reality and creating better communities and livelihoods for the people in their constituencies. This fresh start represents a wonderfully unique opportunity to get ECD firmly … Read More

ECD and disability: Urgent priority and action are needed

Svetlana DonevaBlog, The Policy Post0 Comments

There is a compelling rights-based case for the prioritisation of programme development and the allocation of resources for the delivery of inclusive ECD services for children with disabilities and/or developmental delays. Numerous polices, including the most recent national ECD policy, recognise that children with disabilities have a right to equal access to inclusive quality ECD services. Moreover, there is an … Read More

Where is ECD in the national departmental budget vote speeches?

Svetlana DonevaBlog, Blogs, The Policy Post2 Comments

Ilifa Labantwana’s recently published South African Early Childhood Review provides a welcome statistical overview of how well the government is meeting its duties to young children and their caregivers. The review notes that there is a legal and urgent duty on government to provide an essential package of ECD services. The draft National ECD Policy seeks to give effect to … Read More

The human resources SA needs for quality ECD

Svetlana DonevaBlog, The Policy Post0 Comments

The Minister of Higher Education and Training has published a Draft Policy on Minimum Requirements for Programmes Leading to Qualifications in Higher Education for Practitioners and Educators in Early Childhood Care and Education for public comment. Written submissions may be made by 15 May 2016 to This policy represents one of the first steps towards putting in place a … Read More

Department of Basic Education: where it stands on ECD

Svetlana DonevaBlog, The Policy Post2 Comments

The Department of Basic Education Annual Report for the 2014/15 period documents a number of measures implemented to address the challenges in the quality of ECD for children aged 0-4 and Grade R highlighted in ECD audit conducted by the DSD in 2013 as well as the report on “The Impact of the Introduction of Grade R on Learning Outcomes”. … Read More

DoH on ECD: in a nutshell

Svetlana DonevaBlog, The Policy Post0 Comments

The Department of Health’s Annual Report and Annual Performance Plan for the period 2016/17 – 2018/19 notes significant improvements and ongoing challenges to the survival of children in South Africa. It notes that the under-five mortality rate has dropped from 56 down to 39 deaths per 1000 live births by 2014. The reduction is attributable in part to measures aimed … Read More

DSD and ECD: what the policy says

Svetlana DonevaBlog, The Policy Post1 Comment

In the Department of Social Development (DSD’) s Annual Report for the year ended 31 March 2015, the Minister of Social Development introduces the shift in the developmental importance and prioritization of ECD in her statement that “ECD lies at the heart of our plans to combat the inter-generational transmission of poverty [and that] … the new policy will pave … Read More

SA’s ECD policies are changing: now what?

Svetlana DonevaBlog, The Policy Post0 Comments

Looking back, it is clear from the recently published 2014/15 annual reports and strategic plans for the core ECD departments of Health, Social Development and Basic Education, that a number of important policy shifts have taken place. ECD is at the forefront of the national development agenda, and this is reflected in the prioritisation of programmes for the health, well-being … Read More

Getting on with the business of ECD

Svetlana DonevaBlog, The Policy Post0 Comments

Things have been rather quiet on the policy front over the past fortnight. However, the many ECD role players have been quietly and steadily carrying on with the business of ECD. This week’s policy shares a few policy initiatives with a bearing on ECD as well as some examples of recent programmes and projects. Draft National Sanitation Policy published for … Read More

SA Budget 2016/17: ECD needs action, not just words

Svetlana DonevaBlog, Blogs, ECD News, The Policy Post1 Comment

Many commentators have called Financed Minister Pravin Gordhan’s 2016/17 National Budget the most difficult balancing act of the minister’s political career.  Minister Gordhan matched an overwhelming amount of demands against constrained resources – all within a fiscally depressed economic climate. Minister Gordhan’s budget maps out government’s plans for the next three years. Given the constraints, complexity and competing demands, the foundations … Read More

Policy Post: Why ECD did not feature in SONA 2016 and what our sector needs to do about it

Svetlana DonevaBlog, The Policy Post1 Comment

Last Thursday, 11th of Feb, President Jacob Zuma presented his State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Parliament. The SONA traditionally provides a comprehensive overview of the key gains made in the previous year. The President has always used the opportunity to highlight the upcoming year’s policy and programmatic priorities cutting across social and economic sectors, as well as an … Read More

The DSD acts on household food and nutrition security

Svetlana DonevaBlog, Blogs, ECD News, The Policy Post0 Comments

The national Department of Social Development this week published a Terms of Reference for the Appointment of a Service Provider for the Implementation of the Household Food and Nutrition Security Programme for 2015/16. The purpose of the TOR is “solicit proposals from NPOs to facilitate implementation of an integrated Household Food and Nutrition Security Programme for the Department of Social … Read More

How can we prioritise ECD expenditure?

Svetlana DonevaBlog, Blogs, ECD News, The Policy Post0 Comments

The approval of a revised national ECD policy is, we are led to believe, imminent. Once Cabinet approves the policy, our hard work starts. As a country, we will have to increase our investment, in terms of both money, time, people and political buy-in; we will have to agree on a programme of action to translate the national ECD vision … Read More

Strengthening ECD Registration Systems key to Massification of ECD services

Svetlana DonevaBlog, Blogs, The Policy Post2 Comments

  Three significant challenges to universal ECD services, particularly are: Insufficient ECD facilities in sufficiently close proximity to the children in question Where facilities do exist, children often are excluded as a result of access barriers such as cost and unsuitable facilities Poor quality services. In order to achieve the national ECD goals of universal ECD, especially for the most … Read More

Policy Post: ECD is only long term solution to SA’s education inequities

Svetlana DonevaBlog, Blogs, News, The Policy Post0 Comments

Once again, we have come to that time of the year where all eyes turn to the Annual National Assessments (ANAs) and National Senior Certificate Examinations. Traditionally, these are viewed as the two leading indicators of the progress we are making as a country to turn our poor education record around. The ANAs will be written next week and 8,6million … Read More

Policy Post: The unrealised potential of the Road to Health

Svetlana DonevaBlog, Blogs, ECD News, The Policy Post1 Comment

The ECD diagnostic review conducted in 2013 and the draft national ECD policy have drawn attention to the critical importance of providing support in the very earliest years for equalizing and securing the development of children to their full potential. At the same time, these two documents highlight that it is precisely young children in this age group, and notably … Read More

National ECD Centre Audit Released

Svetlana DonevaBlog, Blogs, ECD News, The Policy Post1 Comment

The Department of Social Development (DSD) has issued the results of its national audit of ECD centres, conducted during 2013, which includes centres with conditional registration as well as unregistered centres. The audit serves the purpose of providing information on the nature and extent of ECD provisioning, services, resources and infrastructure across all nine provinces: in total 19 971 ECD centres … Read More

The Policy Post: Rounding up South Africa’s recent ECD policies and programmes

Svetlana DonevaBlog, Blogs, ECD News, The Policy Post5 Comments

This week’s policy post provides a brief overview and update on the status of a number of recent policy, programme and research initiatives relevant to ECD in South Africa. At the centre is the national ECD policy and programme of action under the leadership of the Department of Social Development (DSD). However, there are a number of additional initiatives under … Read More

Local government population-based ECD planning must happen now

Svetlana DonevaBlog, Blogs, The Policy Post1 Comment

There is growing scientifically-driven consensus that ECD-investments are the most cost-effective route to sustainable development of children and the communities in which they live. UNICEF’s recent Building Better Brains: New Frontiers in Early Childhood Development provides a summary of the most recent science on the link between ECD and development. It confirms that the development of children born into extreme poverty, into … Read More

The Policy Post: Laying the Foundation for Effective Implementation of the ECD Policy

Svetlana DonevaBlog, Blogs, ECD News, News, The Policy Post1 Comment

As famous as South Africa is for its good child rights policies; it is equally infamous for the weak implementation of those policies. The disjuncture between policy intent and actual outcomes is clear in child well-being returns which don’t match the size of investment of public resources in, for example, child health and education systems. The Draft National ECD Policy – what … Read More