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Social Development Deputy Minister, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, will today continue her drive to get children in Early Childhood Development (ECD) back to school by distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) to ECD centres across the Western Cape.

This follows a successful delivery of PPE to ECD centres in the Northern Cape.

Over 5 000 children in seven provinces have benefitted from the initiative, which aimed to assist ECD centres in rural areas to comply with COVID-19 regulations, and enable the centres to open their doors for children.

To date, over 4 200 children attending ECDs have benefitted.

In February this year, the Department of Social Development launched the ECD Employment Stimulus Relief Fund (ECD-ESRF) to help ECD services to recover from the loss of income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department received R496 million to assist the sector, which was amongst the hardest hit by the pandemic.  

By the end of the closing date for applications of the funding on 26 February 2021, a total of 3 164 programmes in Western Cape had applied for the fund. 

“The department commenced with the payment of the fund and thus far, payments to 8 807 ECD services and 33 533 employees – to the value of R140 369 138 – were made. Unfortunately, the department was unable to process further payments, where applications had bank and staff verification inaccuracies. 

“The department is encouraging all ECD services, which received notification via SMS, to update their details by no later than 7 May 2021. 

“The department would also like to advise the sector that it has removed the cap that was placed, where up to four employees were going to be paid. This means that ECD services that have passed all the verifications will receive funding for all employees they applied for,” the department said.


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