Children’s safety in the spotlight

2018-05-31 06:00

To mark National Child Protection Week, the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) hosted a registration support stakeholder engagement with 18 social service organisations working in the early childhood development (ECD) sector.

The Department has centralised the ECD registration process to head office, and now works with the 18 organisations to assist the ECD sector with the process of registration, training and capacity building.

Albert Fritz, the provincial minister of Social Development, said this decision has freed up social workers based at “our regional and local offices to focus on statutory services and community work, and not be burdened by the administrative requirements of ECD registration”.

He says the DSD has invested substantially into the ECD sector, with R336 million having been allocated for this financial year.

“DSD provides subsidies to 53 325 children from birth to four years old, at a growing network of 2 805 organizations registered with the department under the Children’s Act to operate as ECD centres,” he said.

As per the Act, the registration of ECD centres remains one of the most critical functions of the Department, said Fritz.

“We require ECD facilities to be registered as this allows DSD to provide funding and inspections to ensure compliance with fire, health and safety aspects, as well as the quality of ECD curriculum.”

The public can locate their closest ECD centre or check on its registration by visiting any DSD local office or by calling the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250.

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