ECD Infrastructure Support

Systematically improving ECD centre infrastructure

Over 3.8mn children under five in South Africa don’t have access to any early learning programme. Of the remaining 2.5mn who do, quality is a major problem.

Quality is determined by a range of factors, including safe infrastructure, trained ECD practitioners and appropriate teaching materials. All of these require funding. In order to qualify for government funding, ECD centres require partial care registration (PCR). Safe and adequate infrastructure is one of the major requirements for PCR.

Centres are in a catch-22 situation. 

They need improved infrastructure to qualify for funding but they do not have funding to improve their infrastructure. However, there is not enough government funding for infrastructure to support the thousands of ECD centres that need to improve enough to receive PCR.

A new system for funding allocation  

The ECD Infrastructure Support System was developed to help make decisions on how to allocate limited infrastructure and resources in the most cost-effective way to ECD centres with the highest potential. This system is being tested through a collaboration between Ilifa Labantwana, Project Preparation Trust, KZN Department of Social Development and five local municipalities.

93% of the centres we are working with have the potential to meet the norms and standards, and get registered, if they receive the right kind of support.

The ECD Infrastructure Support System is a seven step process: 

  1. Identify, map and survey all ECD centres
  2. Analyse the data and determine the need
  3. Select priority centres for improvement
  4. Plan and cost improvements
  5. Find the funds
  6. Start building
  7. Complete the registration process