ECDs remain open under Alert Level 4
The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) wishes to confirm that Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres and partial care facilities will remain open, under the 14 days Adjusted Alert Level 4 Disaster Management Act regulations.
“We urge all ECDs to abide by the ECD operating protocols and guidelines. These measures include extensive safety training for staff, daily screening and handwashing on arrival for both staff and children, staggered arrival times per age group, and age-appropriate education for children about COVID-19.
ECD operators must prioritise the health and safety of the children in their care,” said the Western Cape Minister for Social Development, Sharna Fernandez.
“I also wish to note with great concern the low number of applications in the Western Cape that have been received thus far for the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Employment Stimulus Relief Fund.
On 03 June 2021, I wrote to the National Minister for Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, urging her Department to re-open the applications for the Early Childhood Development Employment Stimulus Relief Fund,” added Minister Fernandez.
“It saddens me deeply that I have yet to receive a formal response. As such, I will once again, write to Minister Zulu, requesting that her Department immediately conduct a review of the ECD Stimulus Relief Fund payment, especially considering that the country has been placed under the 14 days Adjusted Alert Level 4 Disaster Management Act regulations.
The change in the Disaster Management Regulations will inevitably place additional pressure on the ECDs who are already struggling to remain open and have still not received the ECD Stimulus Relief Fund payment.
If we are to meet the overall objective of the ECD Employment Stimulus Relief Fund which is to provide support to ECD workers it is critical that national government re-open this process,” concluded Minister Fernandez.
The provincial DSD continues to work closely with registered ECD centres, ensuring that the necessary measures are in place to help protect both ECD practitioners and young children. The Department has not only established monitoring plans to ensure that ECDs are adhering to COVID-19 health and safety protocols but continues to provide additional assistance such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
The DSD has already provided PPE to 1 871 partial care facilities, 267 ECD facilitators from out of centre programmes. This is over and above the support that the department already provides to ECD related services and programmes.
For more information:
For more information about the services offered by the Department, please contact, 0800 220 250, to be directed to your nearest local DSD office, or email SD.CustomerCare@westerncape.gov.za.