ECD on the road to succeed


Working together the ECD Sector is stronger than individuals and individual organizations trying to put initiatives to advance together.


In 2015, the Department of Social Development established the ECD Inter-sectoral Forum which consists of:


(a) National ECD non-governmental organizations;

(b) Corporate institutions;


(c) International partners;

(d) ECD training institutions; (private and public sector)

(e) Research institutions;

(f) National government departments (relevant government departments);

(g) National government agencies (relevant national government agencies);

(h) Private Foundations (providing services on ECD)

(i) Publication companies (providing services on ECD)


The purpose and mandate of the Inter-sectoral Forum is to form a united platform upon which Government and the Non-Government Sector bodies engage in ECD delivery will work together to enhance the integrated delivery of the ECD in South Africa.


The South African Inter-sectoral Forum for ECD was established at a national level with the following roles and responsibilities:


(a) Serve as a platform to share and promote ECD to all children;

(b) Serve as a consultative forum on major developments in ECD with the view to implementing improved and the expanded delivery of ECD across the country;

(c) Promote collaboration and synergy in the implementation of the South African Integrated Programme of Action for Early Childhood Development-Moving Ahead (2013-2016);

(d) Serve as a consultative forum for the development and reviewing of all existing policies that impact on ECD, the development, care, education and well-being of young children;

(e) Provide platform for a dialogue on early childhood development at a national level;

(f) Mobilise for the availability of the required financial

and human resources to implement the South African Integrated Programme of Action for Early Childhood Development;

(g) Guide and direct services to children with disabilities, to the poor and vulnerable population of children, their families and communities;

(h) Supporting, the implementation of the South African Integrated Programme of Action for Early Childhood Development at national, pr provincial and local levels


The South African Congress for Early Childhood Development is one of the national organizations in the ECD Inter-sectoral Forum.


The Provincial Executive Committees of the SA Congress for ECD is encouraged to lobby the Provincial DSD to establish a provincial forum which has the same mandate as the national forum. This provincial forum is a recognized forum in the Terms of Reference of the Inter-sectoral Forum.


Focus areas for 2017


The South African Congress for Early Childhood Development acknowledges the generous financial support of the following funders which has enabled the organisation to fulfill its aims and objectives: 

  • National Development Agency (NDA)

  • Department Social Development (NDA)


  • National Lotteries Commission (NLC)

 The professional registration of ECD Practitioners is a high priority as it will bring clarity and dignity to the critical role in care and education to children birth to six years. The SA Congress for ECD took a decision to focus attention on this critical process in its lobbying and advocacy role. Institutions such as the South African Council for Educators and the Social services Professional Council will be lobbied.

Secondly focus will be on the full registration of ECD Centres as Partial Care Facilities. Some ECD Centres have applied for full registration but have received conditional or provisional registration because of outstanding documents such as a Health Certificate, Human and Finance Policies, Audited Statements and some have structural defects.

The third focus for 2017 is to train ECD Practitioners towards a level 4 qualification. The SA Congress for ECD will train 30 ECD Practitioners in all nine provinces making a total of 270 Practitioners. 

Fourthly, the SA Congress for ECD is conducting capacity building workshops on the Amended Children’s Act in May and June 2017 to assist ECD Principals and Practitioners understand how to register as a Partial Care Facility. 

In August and September 2017 the SA Congress for ECD will host workshops in Financial Management.

These workshops are coordinated by the Provincial Chairpersons of the SA Congress for ECD.

In all nine provinces level 4 training will start in July 2017. The purpose of the training is to ensure that all Practitioners are fully trained, qualified and competent.




SACECD is a membership organization that represents the interest of children birth to six years and coordinates adults who are responsible for the care and education of these children. SACECD therefore has individual and organization membership. The following fees apply:


Individual membership



ECD Centres and Training Organisations        



Membership is done through the Provincial Executive Committees and for further information on membership please contact the Provincial Chairpersons


Membership forms are available from the Provincial Executive Committees as well as on the following web


Elections of new Provincial Executive Committees


All provinces are in the process of electing new Committees that will lead the provinces from 2107 till 2020.


These Committees will implement lobbying, advocacy and training programmes for members.


Recognition Award


The South African Congress for Early Childhood Development received a recognition Award from the Steering Committee of the South African ECD Awards for continued support and strengthening of the ECD Sector. The Award was received by the President of the South African Congress for ECD, Ms Christine Radebe.




The SA Congress for ECD has established a Veterans Forum for all Practitioners who are over 60 years and are in service or have retired. These Veterans have accumulated immense experience in managing ECD Centres and staff and are able to coach and guide junior Practitioners.


The Veterans who have retired will host quarterly meetings and will attend one national meeting per annum.


National Strategic Meeting


The National Executive Committee of the SA Congress for ECD met on 27 February to 1 March 2017 at ECD House in Pretoria to review the amendments to its constitution and to align programmes for ECD Practitioners and ECD Centres to register with the Department of Social development as a Partial Care Facility.


At this meeting it was noted with sadness of the passing away of the newly elected Deputy President, Ms Zamazulu Zulu. She was a vibrant Provincial Secretary for Kwa Zulu Natal for the period 2013-2016 and then elected as Deputy President. She is sadly missed by the organization and all her colleagues in her province.















2016 has come and is going…


As we come to the end of 2016, we look back at an exciting period in the early childhood development sector. 

The Department of Social Development held a national and nine provincial workshops on the new ECD Policy. This work is the culmination of 22 years over which period the SA Congress for ECD and other structures lobbied for a coordinated approach to deliver ECD services to children birth to six years.  

The Department of Basic Education released the Draft National Curriculum Framework and trained government officials and trainers from private and non-profit training organizations.  

The Department of Higher Education and Training developed and is consulting the Qualifications Framework for the early childhood development sector and hopefully there will be alignment of qualifications and also enable a career pathway.  

The National Steering Committee of the ECD Awards held its Gala Evening in Cape Town and recognized Best ECD Centres, ECD Practitioners, Trainers, Publications, programmes for Disability and Non-Centre based programmes.  

The SA Congress for ECD held its Ninth general Meeting in Cape Town and elected new National Office Bearers for 2016 till 2019. A Programme of Action will also be adopted for implementation for 2016 till 2019.  

The ETDP SETA and the QCTO has reviewed the fundamentals for the level 4 qualification and have developed foundational learning credits at Level 3 and through this process has registered an Occupational Qualification for level 4.  

We have this one opportunity and in our lifetime to give our children and the next generation a future if we are committed and willing! 



What expectations do we have of 2017 

The professional registration of ECD Practitioners is a high priority as it will bring clarity and dignity to the critical role in care and education to children birth to six years. However, to finalise this process the employer in the public service should be identified. Professional registration is dependent on the buy-in of a public employer.  

An Action or Implementation Plan with timelines, financial and human resources and outcomes for the new ECD Policy should be finalized. The policy is well written but should have an implementation plan to make it a living document.  

Funding should become a joint effort by government departments and donors to train at least 20 000 ECD Practitioners who can provide centre and non-centre based training for effective and competent programme delivery. A national summit of government officials, university and TVET colleges representatives, donors and non-profit stakeholders is critical to address training of at least 20 000 ECD Practitioners by 2019. These 20 000 ECD Practitioners can take responsibility for 600 000 of the poorest of the poor children by 2019.  

Partnerships should be strengthened to ensure that now that ECD is a public good government can take the lead and provide an enabling environment of all stakeholders in the ECD sector.  

We wish you a Merry Christmas and

a prosperous new year!


October 2016 

Competent and qualified ECD Practitioners for our children

The South African Congress for Early Childhood Development (SACECD) hosted its Ninth General Meeting in Cape Town from 27-29 September 2016.

About 500 delegates from eight provinces descended on Cape Town using trains, public transport, private buses and planes. The General Meeting was held at the beautiful setting “Barron’s Caterers and the delegates stayed at different venues throughout the Western Cape.

The theme of the General was “Competent and qualified ECD Practitioners for our children” and was well received and addressed at the General Meeting. 

Speakers included the MEC for Social Development in the Western Cape, the MMC for Social Development from the City of Cape Town, Ms Ruby Motaung from the Department of Higher Education and Training, the National Development Agency, Early Learning Resource Unit, Mr Godfrey Vatsha from NBC Holdings, SANLAM Director, Mr Thomas Benjamin a Reading Specialist and the National Office Bearers from SACECD. 

During commissions the importance of qualifications were raised and especially the recognition of qualifications acquired through Non for Profit Organisations. Delegates were quite concerned about not being absorbed into Grade R classes and the lack of remuneration in private community and backyard ECD Centres. 

The speakers during plenary emphasized the importance of working closer with organizations such as SACECD so that advocacy of the new ECD Policy could be enhanced. 
Provinces raised different experiences when engaging with the Departments of Social Development and Basic Education. In some provinces there were active forums that included government and Not for profit Organisations. These forums met regularly and challenges and opportunities were raised and addressed.

Delegates were encouraged to make provision for their children and for retirement by participating in the Provident Fund. Waste less expenditure was raised as the main culprit for not growing a sustainable financial base at ECD Centres and in personal lives. 

The SACECD elected its new National Office Bearers for the period 2016 till 2019. These Office Bearers will meet in a strategic Planning Meeting on 23-25 November 2016 to develop an implementation plan from resolutions adopted at the General Meeting.

National Office Bearers elected at the BGM in Cape Town

President - Matinte Radebe
Deputy President - Zama Zulu
Chairperson - Augusta Brandt
Deputy Chairperson - Mpho Komana
Treasurer - Norman Mandlane
Additional Member - Sina Letsie
Additional Member - Alice Bayane


South African ECD Awards 2016

The entry forms for the 2016 South African ECD Awards were released on 1 August 2016 and the closing date was 14 October 2016. 



 August 2016 


Welcoming the release of the ECD Policy


In December 2015, the South African Cabinet approved the release of the ECD Policy that concluded a process that was started at the East London Conference held in March 2012.


Capacity Building Workshops are currently being conducted in all nine provinces to inform ECD Practitioners about the implementation and implications of the ECD Policy.


Dates for the capacity building workshops are:



10-13 May 2016

North West

17-20 May 2016

Eastern Cape

20-23 June 2016

Northern Cape

5-8 July 2016


19-22 July 2016


23-26 August 2016


06-09 September 2016

Free State

01-04 November 2016


22-25 November 2016

Western Cape


BGM and General Meeting 2016


The Congress will hold its BGM 2016 and General Meeting in the Muizenburg Civic Centre in Cape Town in 2016. The BGM is held every three years and forms a national platform for ECD Practitioners and stakeholders to review the implementation of programmes from government and the Not for Profit sector. Critical policies and training initiatives will be discussed and resolutions adopted for the period 2016-2019.


The theme of the BGM is “A competent ECD Practitioner for every child”.


The Congress will elect its National Office Bearers for the period 2016-2019. These National Office Bearers leads the National Executive Committee which is the highest decision-making body between BGMs.



Veterans Forum



The Gauteng Congress for ECD launched a Provincial Veterans Forum in June 2016 for members and individuals who have retired from active service and who wish to plough back to the ECD community. There were jubilant voices raised as members who have retired from active service can now plough back into their organization.



Elections 2016



On 3 August 2016, South African voters will go to the polls to elect local councilors. Local councilors are very important stakeholders in the provisioning of ECD Services to all children in South Africa.


When making choices, the child and the future generation should be the centre. Political parties make promises that they will honour but many local government administrations in all nine provinces have failed to provide electricity, clean and safe water, access to safe and healthy basic education and care services.



Our children will one day call us to account if we fail to make the right choice at the polls.



Training and Skills Programmes available for 2016 and 2017



The SA Congress for ECD offers the following qualifications and skills programmes. Inquiries can be made at the National Office on 012 321 5156.



Introduction to Early Childhood Development


Further Education and Training Certificate (ID 58761)


Financial Management and Fundraising


Registration, Compliance and Legalities for ECD NPOs


Food gardens


First Aid


Basic Computer Training


Occupational Health and Safety


Food Nutrition, Hygiene and Menu Planning


Human Resources





Training and Workshop facilities



The SA Congress for ECD has training and workshop facilities available for providers intending to provide services in the Central Business District of Tshwane.



At very competitive prices and situated in a very scenic and quiet area, the facilities are conducive to a very effective and stimulating training experience.



Public transport is available at the doorstep of ECD House and a modern shopping mall is within 100 metres of ECD House.


Inquiries can be made with Janita Erwee at 012 321 5156.






Registered as a Not for Profit Organisation NPO Number 001-435

Accredited with the ETDP SETA Registration: 7878

Registered with City of Tshwane as an approved service provider: 211856

Registered with the Department of Labour as a Service Provider No: 3330


National and International Relations

South African ECD representative body in OMEP

Member of the ABET/ECD Chamber

Member of the Advisory Council for Children within the Presidency

Founding member of the South African ECD Awards