The public comment period on the 164-page draft policy closes 24 April 2015.
Prompted by the lack of recognition of the benefits or right to early childhood education (ECD), the policy has five main objectives including ensuring equitable access to ECD services, coordinating a multisectoral approach to ECD provision, and ensuring adequate budgeting and monitoring of ECD services.
Despite recent progress in expanding access to ECD services in South Africa, the policy asserts that aspects of ECD including nutritional and parent support, specialised ECD services for children with disabilities and early education remain lacking. Children under the age of two years and from poor, under-served areas are least likely to access these services, according to research cited in the study.
The policy aims to thus provide an implementation strategy for ECD services by, for instance, clarifying stakeholders’ roles and responsibilities, outlining a national ECD advocacy strategy, and establishing funding and infrastructure policies to accompany programmes.
Those wishing to provide comments on the policy are requested to use the format stipulated in the policy. Comments should be sent or delivered to:
Attn: Ms Motlapele Ntswane
The Deputy Director-General, Welfare Services,
Department of Social Development,
134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria 0001,
Fax: 086 544 1577