The Vangasali campaign seeks to find and get the details of all early childhood development (ECD) facilities in South Africa, registered or not. This is so that these facilities, so essential to pre-schoolers' physical and mental development, can be properly supported, especially during the national lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19.

Background

Ecdtoys
(Image: Pixabay )

As outlined in the National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy (2015), it is the public provisioning responsibility of Government to develop a publicly funded and rights-based national integrated early childhood development system which ensures universal availability of early childhood development services that secure young children’s rights and provides a continuum of quality care, early learning and protection. The provision of Early Childhood Development (ECD) services is integral as it helps to create the conditions in which the future life prospects of a child is not hindered by the income poverty of their parents. Thus by providing access to quality ECD services and investing in young children, it serves as a means of levelling the playing field for children born into poor families, and it can help reduce social disadvantage as well as provide a better start at school.

While the Department of Social Development has some data regarding the scale of ECD provisioning in the country, this covers mostly registered and conditionally registered sites; playgroups as well as some unregistered centres. There are however thousands of unregistered ECD services and non-centre based ECD services, including mobile services that government does not have data on because they are unaware of where these centres operate from. All these services form an integral backbone of ECD service delivery in the country. With respect to unregistered ECD services, government recognises the role that it needs to play in assisting these services to meet registration requirements stemming from the nature of ECD provisioning being that of a community based driven service and a public-private partnership.

The Covid-19 crisis elevated the importance of registration with respect to unregistered services in particular as they are unable to access government’s relief measures, owing to falling outside any kind of registration system. Not being able to access the various kinds of support being offered to small businesses and citizens to cushion the loss of income that has accompanied the lockdown measures, has placed severe financial strain on these unregistered services. So while the need to get better and more comprehensive data has been longstanding, the COVID-19 crises has exacerbated the situation and served to further highlight the need to collect data on unregistered sites with a view to work towards bringing them within the fold of the registration system.

Moreover, in the wake of the pandemic, there is a need to adequately plan for the safe reopening of ECD sites. To help enable this to transpire, data is needed regarding the scale and spread of ECD services in order to facilitate this reopening. The data generated from this campaign will thus also feed into this planning process so as to realise this.

Campaign overview

Vangasali is a Xitsonga word meaning No One Left Behind, which is what this campaign is trying to do by finding every ECD service as this in the long term will help enable the realisation of quality ECD service provision to children. This notion of not leaving anyone behind is further emphasised by the tagline of Every Child Counts.

How will data be collected?

Ecdswing
(Image: Unsplash)
  • Collecting and collating databases of ECD NGOs, ECD forums and other stakeholders: One chief way in which data will be collected will be through reaching out to existing ECD NGOs, ECD Forums and other stakeholders who have data related to ECD services such as location information and contact details. ECD NGOs have this information owing to their interface with ECD services through training or nutrition provision initiatives amongst other things, while ECD Forums have information on ECD services as their membership comprises of these service providers. Other stakeholders such as Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) and Community Safety Forums may also have information on ECD services owing to their interaction with them. Data can be submitted through via this form.
  • WhatsApp line: There are ECD services that are not reached by ECD NGOs and who are also not part of any ECD Forum or association. To ensure that everyone is able to participate in the campaign, WhatsApp will be used as a medium for ECD service providers to submit their information. This WhatsApp line is a GovChat managed platform. WhatsApp the word ECD to 082 046 8553 and follow the prompts.

Launch of the Vangasali campaign: 2 June 2020

FAQs

Vangasali is a Xitsonga phrase meaning No One Left Behind, which is what this campaign is trying to achieve by finding every ECD service, as this will in the long term enable the realisation of quality ECD service provision to children. This notion of not leaving anyone behind is further emphasised by the tagline of Every Child Counts.

ECD centres; play groups; child-minders (who have fewer than 6 children under their care); toy libraries; and mobile ECD programmes.

Even if you do not have your database on excel, please send us this information regardless?of the format that it is in. If you do not have it in word or pdf but have physical copies?only, then you can take a picture of this and send it to us. If you are taking any pictures of?databases or registers and emailing it to us, please make sure the picture is clear.

If you have additional information related to services such as the number of children they?have, the number of practitioners and so forth, please send us this information as well.?

You can email your database to ecd@nelsonmandela.org.

The information that you submit will be owned by the Department of Social Development?(DSD). While the Nelson Mandela Foundation and GovChat are partners on this campaign?and will be assisting with the processing of information, agreements are in place to ensure?that the data is owned by DSD and that your information is not used or exploited by any?third party.

We urge you to submit your data as soon as possible so that the information can be?processed, which will also assist planning for the reopening of sites. However, the final?date for submission is Friday, 26th of June 2020.

This campaign is Phase 1 and is part of a larger process. The aim of this phase is to find?and count all ECD services, which the campaign is geared towards achieving. This will?enable government to understand the coverage of children receiving ECD services and will?inform a gap analysis in terms of spatial and population provisioning. Parallel to this?process, the Department of Social Services?will use this information to feed into their planning for the?reopening of sites. Phase 2 involves the categorisation of sites while Phase 3 is the

intervention phase. This why participating in this campaign is important as it will help inform other phases.?

There are ECD services that are not reached by ECD NGOs and who are also not part of?any ECD forum or association. To ensure that everyone is able to participate in the?campaign, there are other ways in which operators of ECD services can participate in the?campaign. These are outlined below:

  • Form link: Data can be submitted through the following form -?https://forms.gle/WAaiKboUmKgr...
  • WhatsApp line: In terms of how to access this WhatsApp platform, which is managed by GovChat, WhatsApp the word ECD to 082 046 8553 and follow the prompts?

You can email feedback@govchat.org for assistance.

We will give feedback to people who have participated in this campaign, which will include?an acknowledgement of receipt of your database submission and once the campaign has?concluded, you will hear from Department of Social Development regarding how much data was collected during the?campaign as well as next steps.

Get involved

You can email your database to ecd@nelsonmandela.org

To ensure that everyone is able to participate in the campaign, here the other ways in which operators of ECD services can participate in the campaign. These are outlined below:


  • Form link: Data can be submitted through the following form - https://forms.gle/WAaiKboUmKgr...
  • WhatsApp line: In terms of how to access this WhatsApp platform, which is managed by GovChat, WhatsApp the word ECD to 082 046 8553 and follow the prompts