An Equal Start For All

Ilifa Labantwana works to secure an equal start for all children living in South Africa, through universal access to quality early childhood development.

Our focus areas

Ilifa Labantwana 5 areas of focus

Financing &

Programmes &


Demand &



Current early learning data

More than 3.2 million of our country’s 0-5 year olds still do not have access to any form of early learning programme.

Nearly 90% of these children come from the poorest quintiles,  indicating that past inequities in access to early learning programmes remain a critical challenge.

Only 800 000 are accessing a registered programme and less than 700 000 children who access an early learning programme are government subsidised.

Latest updates

Our blog, publications, and research

Early Childhood Development Accelerator Series

Accelerator 1 | Towards universal access: A three-year plan for ECD funding This is the first in a series of briefs detailing opportunities to accelerate the expansion and improvement of early childhood development services towards universal access. This brief...

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Our Successful ECD COVID Response Project wraps up

Our Successful ECD COVID Response Project wraps up

This is the sixth and final blog in our series documenting the ECD COVID Response Project, whose major activities concluded recently. Over the next few months we will be compiling and releasing a number of exciting learning and advocacy products which will showcase...

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  • There are 6 million children aged 0 – 5 years in South Africa. 100% 100%
  • 4 million of them receive the Child Support Grant and they need subsidised early learning. 66% 66%
  • Only 1 million of children who need subsidised early learning – or 25% – are receiving it. 25% 25%