DSD urges ECD’s to heed to COVID19 protocols whilst re-opening
As we have entered the new year, and with many parents placing their children in places of safety as they return to work, the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) is urging all Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres and partial care facilities to follow the respective COVID-19 health and safety protocols whilst re-opening.
The regulations with regards to the adjusted level 3 lockdown do not mention the closure of ECD programmes and partial care facilities. As it stands, the regulations that apply, state that all ECD programmes and partial care facilities can open if the owner ensures that they are operating within the Covid-19 health and safety guidelines, as published by the Department of Health.
The Western Cape Minister of Social Development said, “We urge all of those ECDs who are preparing and who have already re-opened, 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 of children about COVID 19.
ECD operators must prioritise the health and safety of the children in their care”.
The Department continues to work closely with registered ECD programmes in terms of ensuring that the necessary measures are in place to help protect both ECD practitioners and young children at these respective facilities. 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).
PPE has been provided to 1 871 partial care facilities, 267 ECD facilitators from out of centre programmes. The cumulative number of PPE received by PCF and programmes is 4 282 for period ending December 2020. This is over and above the support that the department already provides to ECD related services and programmes.
“I would like to use this opportunity to thank every ECD practitioner across the province-who play such a crucial role in helping us ensure that our children are not only safe but, teach our children vital skills needed for the school years ahead. Let’s all commit to ensuring the safety of our children - 365 days a year!”
For more information:
For the detailed guideline about the safe return of staff and children to ECDs, a checklist for parents, and a list of social service organisations that support ECDs, Please see the following link: www.westerncape.gov.za/ecd.
ECDs will find all relevant registration information – including info on the Vangasali campaign – under the “services” tab and also contact detail for their Social Service Organisation in their area who will assist with registration.
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.