Limpopo Social Development to transfer functions of ECD to education department

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Limpopo’s Education and Social Development Departments say they are now in the final stage of stakeholder engagements, towards moving the Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD) from Social Development.

It will be in effect from the 1st of April this year.

This follows the pronouncement made by President Cyril Ramaphosa during the 2019 State of the Nation Address, that the responsibility for Early Childhood Development centres will be migrated to the Basic Education Department.

The Education and the Social Development Department authorities have been engaging various stakeholders through roadshows, about the impending move of the ECD to the Education Department.

They’re expected to hold the roadshows in all the districts. The aim is to inform the stakeholders about the administrative process and responsibilities of the ECDs in the new department.

The roadshow started at Senwabarwana, Limpopo.

Education Department Spokesperson Tidimalo Chuene says they’ve designed systems for state monitoring and support for ECDs.

Chuene says, “The process was initiated during the February 2019 State of the Nation Address, where President Cyril Ramaphosa directed that the function moves to education. The Roadshow is part of stakeholder engagement processes that follows the publication of a provincial Gazette of proclamation issued by the Premier of Limpopo Stan Mathabatha on the 23rd of July 2021, giving legal effect to transfer administration and powers of the function from the MEC of Social Development to the MEC of Education from the first of April.”

Chuene hopes there will be a smooth transition of the ECDs to the Education Department.

She says, “Stakeholders invited to this round of engagements include ECD centre representatives, ECD coordinators, officials of the Department of Education including circuit managers, principals, and representatives of school governing bodies. This last round of engagements is focusing mainly on our state of readiness, to receive the function, is looking at the shift in finances, human resources and infrastructure. We started with this process on the 4th of March and we are scheduled to conclude with these engagements on the 17th of March.”

Working tirelessly

Limpopo Social Development department says their officials have been working tirelessly to ensure that all stakeholders are engaged.

Some owners of Early Childhood Development centres in Polokwane, have expressed mixed reactions to the decision to move the centres to the Education Department.

Tarryn Campbell says she is very excited about the move from the Department of Social Development to the Department of Education.

“As it stands now at Wonderland, we have early childhood development centre on the same premise as foundation phase and intermediate phase. So both of the sections have been controlled under different departments. So we are looking forward to the uniformity of having everybody reporting to the same department and the same regulations in as far as possible be applicable to both the sections of our school and we’ve worked a lot with the Department of Education and we think it will be smooth if we are run by them and we are looking forward to the migration.”

Caroline Smith says, “I was not aware of that. We’ve just heard from other people but which they also just assuming, but no one has come to us. No one has said anything, we haven’t heard of meetings. So, they were saying that when we open we need to go under the system so that they can identify all the crashes and notify us but after we open they have been quiet. They don’t come to us at all.”

The authorities will continue visiting all the education districts until the end of this month.

VIDEO: ECD transfer from Social Development  to Education  under way: