ECD sites need trained carers

"In South Africa the Department of Social Development is the lead department for services to children under the age of four," Education Minister Naledi Pandor said at the launch of the Absa and Sowetan Early Childhood Development Awards 2007.

"In South Africa the Department of Social Development is the lead department for services to children under the age of four," Education Minister Naledi Pandor said at the launch of the Absa and Sowetan Early Childhood Development Awards 2007.

"Their responsibility is to manage the registration of the 9000 Early Childhood Development (ECD) sites, as well as to provide a subsidy for those children who require it.

"The subsidy is used to provide physical care, support systems, day time nutrition, pay for ECD approved personnel, provide an educational programme, and other overhead expenses.

"The Department of Education is responsible for the training of the carers in the registered sites. Training is essential and yet at the moment ECD carers typically receive less training than primary school teachers.

"Qualified teachers in primary schools that offer grade R or an ECD opportunity often work alongside untrained childcare workers, many of whom are part-time or volunteers.

"In 2005 we adopted an integrated ECD plan... (and its) implementing departments are health, education, and social development.

"The key objective of the plan is to ensure that ECD sites become core service provision centres for children, and to meet our 2010 target of one million children in sites that are registered to offer quality care and support."

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