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Keeping ECD at the top of mind

With the 2022 school year getting underway, it is important to ensure that the Early Childhood Development (ECD) sector is not overlooked.
Image source: © rawpixel –
Image source: © rawpixel – 123RF.com

The City of Cape Town's Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department advises parents and Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD) operators, that help is at hand in ensuring that young children receive the best care in their formative years.

While the City owns 36 ECD centres that are leased to private operators, it also works closely with the Western Cape Department of Social Development in ensuring that ECDs are registered, and comply with all relevant legislation.

"ECD operators have a responsibility to ensure that they meet all the requirements, and have qualified supervisors and caregivers looking after the children in their care. It’s also important for parents to ensure that the service provider they choose is not only providing a safe space, but is also equipped to provide quality learning experiences for their children.

"We are aware of the difficulties that some ECDs face in obtaining registration, and that is why, in recent years, we have developed a number of elements to simplify some of these processes to unlock access to the opportunities that registration affords these centres," said Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Patricia Van der Ross.

The services offered by the City include:
  • ECD modernisation tool
  • ECD can apply to waive development charges
  • ECD capacity building which is in the form of educational tools, facility management, educational equipment and facilitator development.
  • Making educational toys and resources available through City libraries, for loan by ECDs


The City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Department started to streamline services to ECDs in 2020 with a modernisation tool, which created easy online access to compliance and registration.

This service assists applicants with registration and building regulations, health compliance and fire safety inspections and keeps them informed via SMS and email of the status of their applications.

The department also provides assistance with regards to applications for funding and administrative support.

In addition, regular surveys are conducted at both registered and unregistered centres, while officials offer training and capacity building with ECD practitioners, caregivers and parents.

"I also call on communities to help protect these valuable spaces from vandalism and theft. Many ECDs are not operating for profit, and so every bit of damage or loss to their infrastructure or resources is a massive blow and compromises on their ability to provide quality care. It is in everyone’s best interests to protect our community facilities, many of whom are a lifeline to parents who rely on their services while they’re at work. Should you witness any incidents at your local ECD, or hear anything, please report it to the police or the City’s Public Emergency Communication Centre, by dialing 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline," added Van der Ross.

For additional information, or to confirm the requirements for an ECD to be registered, please email az.vog.nwotepac@tnempoleveDlaicoS.DCE

A list of the City’s ECD centres is available here.

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