What we do

Ilifa Labantwana is a South African early childhood development programme founded in 2009.  

Our goal over the next 5 years is to enable an additional 1 million children, aged zero to five, to access quality ECD through the Early Learning Subsidy. Children should be able to access the subsidy if they are attending an ECD centre, or if they are accessing ECD through a non-centre based programme.

Download our organisational profile or read more about why ECD matters for development.

Our Theory Of Change 


An additional 1 million children access quality early childhood development through the Early Learning Subsidy


Budget allocation to allow early childhood development services at scale
Systems to deliver early childhood development services at scale


Improve access to and use of data on ECD for service monitoring and planning
Increase demand for and awareness of the importance of ECD
Build the finance, administrative, regulatory and human resource systems to support ECD service delivery at scale
Promote and share toolkits to implement quality age-appropriate ECD programmes 


Support innovative solutions and approaches to ECD challenges   

Our track record


Our contribution to ECD in South Africa began with support of the Sobambisana Initiative – a four-year programme implemented by five non-profit organisations to test various models of community-based ECD.

Sobambisana’s evaluation informed the National Integrated Plan for ECD, the Essential Package of ECD services, and later the National ECD Policy for South Africa.

For more on our history, read through our publications:

The Ilifa Labantwana Story 2009 – 2013

Ilifa Labantwana 2012/2013 Strategy

Into the Future Ilifa Labantwana Phase II 2013 – 2016

Ilifa Annual Report 2014/2015