School readiness is a contested and emotional term..
A letter, seen by the newspaper, asked public servants to agree to have monthly deductions made from their bank accounts.
Several government officials reportedly confirmed they had been asked to keep the ANC afloat.
Directors-general, who were the administrative heads of government departments, were expected to contribute R3700 a month.
Opposition parties expressed outrage saying it was conflating "the state with the ANC".
However, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe was unrepentant about seeking the donations.
"We are raising funds from our members. Do you want the ANC to have no money? If we raise money from companies, you say why is the ANC raising money from companies," Mantashe was quoted as saying.
He said R3700 was nothing to a director-general, who earned close to R2 million a year.
"How much do they earn - what is the issue about R3000?"
According to the report the ANC's move could be in contravention of the public service regulations that civil servants should "serve the public in an unbiased and impartial manner in order to create confidence in the public service".
The fundraising efforts were reportedly part of a common ANC practice. The party has always collected monthly levies from Cabinet ministers, MPs, premiers and other public representatives who were elected to positions on its ticket.