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Minister Lindiwe Zulu hands over ECD facility to Nazarene Educare Centre in Mqobaneni Village, Mpumalanga, 12 Apr

The Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu in collaboration with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will on Friday, 12 April officially handover a newly built ECD facility to Nazarene Educare Centre in Mqobaneni Village, Mpumalanga Province.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints collaborated with the Ministry of Social Development and the National Development Agency (NDA), an entity of the Department of Social Development to complete phase 2 of Nazarene Educare Centre.

The centre currently provides access to early learning opportunities for 118 children between the ages of 0-4 years. Given that the majority of the children at the centre are vulnerable households, 70 of children currently receive a subsidy of R17 per child per day from the Department of Basic Education.

Research shows that the first 5 years of life of a child’s life are instrumental. This is because the first 5 years is when children’s learning and behavioural foundations are established for life, through developing connections, building relationships and exploring their world.

Significant progress has been made in terms of provision of Early Childhood Development (ECD) services in South Africa after the first democratic elections in 1994. According to South Africa's Census 2022 national results, 3.4 million children aged 0 - 4 years attended ECD programmes in 2022, of which 2.5 million attended a crèche/educare centre or pre-school/nursery school/Grade 00/Grade 000/Grade R.

Giving every child the best start in life through access to early learning that is engaging and builds success for life is extremely important. In 2019, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the transfer of ECD function from the Department of Social Development to Basic Education in order to expand access to early childhood development and improving early-grade reading. This is all part of Government’s efforts to attain universal access to quality ECD services in line with Goal 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

At the official handover ceremony, Minister Zulu will be joined by Mpumalanga MEC of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Ntshalintshali and MEC of Education, Mr Bonakele Majuba.

The Ministerial visit will include a community engagement with local community members.

Members of the media are invited to attend and cover the official handover ceremony scheduled as follows:

Date:            Friday, 12 April 2024
Time:            10h00-13h00
Venue:          Nazarene Educare Centre, Mqobaneni Village – Mpumalanga

Media RSVPs may be directed to Ms Sharlene Naiker on 082 673 5849/ e-mail: SharleneN@dsd.gov.za or Ms Nomfundo Lentsoane on 066 480 6845 /e-mail: NomfundoLe@dsd.gov.za

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