To establish an Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre a health certificate permit from the nearest municipal office is necessary.
When you have your municipal permit you should contact your nearest regional Department of Social Development office, where the intake officer will discuss the following with you:
- Registration requirements
- Legislative mandates
- Registration procedures
- Norms and standards
- Registration documents
- Monitoring processes.
The social worker or a person authorised by the Gauteng Department of Social Development will explain the registration requirements and the documents to be completed. These include:
- Application form (forms 11 and 16)Annexure
- A form (staff members’ details and qualifications)
- Annexure B and C forms (menus for different age groups)
- Form 29 ( to be completed by the centre’s manager)
- Application for an emergency certificate (evacuation plan)
- Lease agreement if relevant
- Organisational profile
- Approved building plan.
When all the required documents have been submitted, a social worker or any person employed and authorised by the Gauteng Department of Social Development will:
- Allocate a file to a social worker to manage the process further.
- Visit the centre to assess the general care of children, administrative systems and financial systems.
- Complete an inspection form.
- Decide on the type of registration certificate to be issued.
- Issue partial care services and ECD programme registration certificates. The regional director will sign these.
A full registration certificate will be valid for five years. A conditional registration certificate will be valid for anything from six months to a year.
A social worker or person employed and authorised by the Gauteng Department of Social Development will continuously monitor the centre and the programme. Site visits will be done to assess compliance with conditions for registration and norms and standards.
The benefits of registration:
- It allows an ECD centre to operate legally while upholding required norms and standards.
- The ECD centre may qualify for a subsidy.
- The ECD centre can benefit from free capacity building and other programmes offered by the Gauteng Department of Social Development.
- Practitioners employed in registered ECD centres can be trained on NQF level 4 free of charge through the Gauteng Department of Education.
What if the ECD centre is not registered?
Failure to register an ECD centre is a contravention of the Children’s Act of 2005, which means the centre would be operating illegally. Notice of enforcement can be issued to such ECD centres. The Department of Social Development may approach the High Court to enforce the operator to stop operating.
How to identify a suitable ECD centre
Parents and caregivers should verify if the ECD centre is registered with the Department of Social Development (registration certificate with Gauteng logo is displayed).
It is also to ensure that the curriculum offered by the ECD centre is recognised by the Department of Education, that teachers or practitioners hold relevant qualifications, and that children are provided with suitable nutrition.