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What is Early Childhood Development?


Early Childhood Development (ECD) previously known as the Early Childhood Development Institute (ECDI) is a directorate within the Gauteng Department of Education that was established with the aim of providing a support structure to ensure that ECD services are rendered in an integrated manner throughout the Gauteng Province.
The key purpose of the ECD directorate is to coordinate, manage and facilitate the development of ECD institutions and the integration of cross departmental services.
  • ​​Formulate an implementation strategy and plan to achieve universal access to Grade R
  •  Identify and establish Grade R sites in public schools
  •  Establish a procurement plan and ensure timeous deployment of all capital infrastructure as well as capital equipment, materials and consumables
  •  Develop an ECD training framework for Grade R and pre-Grade R practitioners, including pre-service and in-service programmes
  • Quality assure the training of ECD practitioners​
The ECDI was established in April 2005 to coordinate, improve quality and accessibility of ECD services with the focus on children between the ages of 0-4 years old.  It also coordinates services for Grade R as all Provinces are required to ensure universalisation of Grade R with the aim of Grade R becoming a compulsory school year by 2025.
Early Childhood Development (ECD) is an umbrella term that applies to the processes by which children from birth to at least nine years grow and thrive, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, morally and socially. The benefits of ECD (preschool/Grade R) can be compounded over time as positive effects that spill over into other learning domains.
It is in this light that the South African Government recognises that increasing access to, as well as improving the Quality of ECD provision, will contribute significantly to improving the learning outcomes of children within the Basic Education Sector​

Application for Early Childhood Development Programme
General Requirements Regarding Parental Responsibilities and Rights Agreement