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Directions on Early Childhood Development Programmes Published

September 15, 2020

Department of Social Development

Directions on the reopening of Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes have been published.

The social development department published the Directions in Government Gazette 43710 in terms of Disaster Management Act Regulations.

The Directions are designed to provide for arrangements for a return of children who attended an ECD programme or a partial care facility prior to lockdown to the programme or facility.

They also seek to provide for an ECD programme or a partial care facility to comply with the Regulations and ensure a uniform approach to the return of children.

The Directions focus on the reopening of ECD programmes or partial care facilities; conditions for return of children to ECD programme or partial care facility; screening; sanitisers, hand washing, disinfectants and masks; social distancing in an ECD programme or partial care facility; adjustment to and implementation of early learning curriculum and learning programme; general safety measures at ECD programme or partial care facility for duration of national state of disaster; old age homes and frail care facilities; movement of children between co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights and community nutritional centres.

In terms of old age homes and frail care facilities, visits are allowed provided that the visits are planned, there is a pre-visit screening call and visitors are subjected to symptom checking and determination of previous known exposure to COVID-19.

Movement of children between co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights or a caregiver, as defined in section 1(1) of the Children’s Act, is permitted.

The Directions came into effect on the date of publication.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has announced that social grant applicants are now able to apply for certain social grants online.

According to SASSA, the pilot project will, at this stage, cover the Child Support, Older Persons, and Foster Child grants.

The remote self-service is possible on both a computer and a mobile phone with a turnaround time of ten days provided all stipulated documents are submitted.

The testing of the system will run until 25 September 2020.