Save Our ECD Workforce

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On 30 July 2020 Minister Zulu announced that R1.3 billion out of the President’s economic stimulus package would be allocated to the employment of 36 000 youth compliance monitors for early childhood development programmes. 

As members of the ECD workforce we find this decision deeply disappointing. 176 000 direct ECD workforce jobs are at risk as a result of the pandemic and the national lockdown, with over 30 000 ECD centres set to close their doors permanently. In addition over 900 000 children will be affected by the closure of these centres and millions of other jobs that depend on access to childcare will be affected indirectly.

R1.3 billion has the potential to sustain over 176 000 jobs in the ECD workforce. These jobs, although many informal, are sustainable long-term jobs mostly pioneered by women entrepreneurs at the community level. Many of these jobs are at risk of being lost forever if urgent support for our ECD workforce is not forthcoming. Instead DSD wants to use the only additional allocation available to it as a department to support 36 000 short-term jobs. We cannot spend R1.3 billion for compliance monitoring and accountability without spending anything to ensure the continuity of the sector.