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The Department of Social Development has reiterated its call to Early Childhood Development (ECD) services to apply for relief funding that is being made available through the Presidential Employment Stimulus Package.

The funding has been made in an effort to assist ECD services recover from the loss of income brought on by COVID-19.

All types of ECD services (registered, conditionally registered or unregistered), including centre and non-centre based services, can apply for this relief funding.

Non-centre based services include play groups, toy libraries, child minders and mobile ECD programmes.

Furthermore, organisations that run, manage or oversee multiple centre and non-centre based ECD services may apply for more than one ECD programme and more than one type of ECD programme.

As of 13 February 2021, a total of 7 343 ECD applications had been completed, which translates to 35 794 of registered ECD employees. The GovChat app has received 27 068 applications.

The department has welcomed efforts by all ECD programmes, which have thus far participated in the application process for the Stimulus Package.

“The department would like to thank all ECD operators who have applied, and encourages those who have not yet done so to do so as soon as possible, before the closing date of Friday, 19 February 2021,” the department said on Monday.

The department said ECD centres continue to play a meaningful role in the lives of children.

“The first 1 000 days of life for children are pivotal for a child’s human development. Optimising the early years of children’s lives is the best investment the country can make in ensuring the children’s future is a success. Early Childhood Development also contributes to income generation for the majority of women and youth in our country,” the department said.

How to apply

Applications can be made on the following link: https://govchat.app.

Applicants must ensure that they have a bank account in the name of the ECD service. If the ECD service does not currently have such an account, they will need to open one before making an application.

They will also need to be registered on the Central Supplier Database (CSD), which can be done via this link: https://secure.csd.gov.za/Account/Register.

The registration number generated from the CSD database will be required for the stimulus application.

Application enquiries and more information about this funding may be directed to the contact centre on the toll-free number 0800 089 666 or by visiting the www.dsd.gov.za website.

Applicants will be directed to relevant local Social Development offices and the Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) supporting ECD operators during the application process.

The department has expressed its appreciation to all partners in the sector, who are working with government on this initiative.

“Special appreciation goes to the ECD Inter-Sectoral Forum, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), DGMT, Ilifa la Bantwana, Impande and Govchat; and most importantly, the sector as a whole for their cooperation and commitment to this initiative,” the department said.

SAnews.gov.za

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