Early Childhood Development (emphasis on Grade R)


The centrality of Early Childhood Development in human resource development of SA, is articulated succinctly in the National Development Plan: Vision for 2030 (2011)” when it declares: “Delays in cognitive and overall development before schooling can often have long lasting and costly consequences for children, families and society. The most effective and cost-efficient time to intervene is before birth and the early years of life. Investment in Early Childhood Development (ECD) should be a key priority.”


The Northern Cape province continues to register major strides in ensuring that children have access to quality ECD centres. 98% of Primary Schools in the Province offer Grade R.

The enrolment of Grade R learners in Public Schools have increased from 16 307 in 2014 to 20 000 in 2019. This was made possible by the implementation of various strategies such as Fun Days, Road Shows and information sessions with parents.

Significant progress has been made with regard to the Grade R practitioners’ Conditions of Service. Practitioners are currently paid according to their qualifications and through PERSAL.

From 2002 to 2019, the stipend has increased from R500 for practitioners with ECD NQF Level 4 and 5 to R 6 500 and practitioners at REQV 13 and above are paid R 8000 through PERSAL. 

In preparation for function shift of ECD Centres from Department of Social Development to the Department of Basic Education, consultation processes are underway at National level. In order to ensure that systems are in place and ensure smooth transition, the Provincial Department of Education in collaboration with Department of Social Development is in the process of aligning all programmes in ECD centres with National Curriculum Framework (NCF).


130 Practitioners have been trained on the Diploma in Grade R Teaching through North West University since 2015 funded by different stakeholders.

•           30 Practitioners are funded by De Aar Solar Power Energy (Globeleq) – R1.2million

•           20 Practitioners are funded by Droogfontein Solar Power Energy (Globeleq) – R800 000

•           To date, 39 practitioners have completed their studies. 20 Of these practitioners are enrolled in the B.Ed Foundation Phase with North West University from 2018 to 2021 and are funded by ETDP SETA.


Funders have committed to continue to invest in the training programme from July 2018 to 2021 as follows:

•           20 practitioners funded by De Aar Solar Power Energy (Globeleq) – approximately R1.8million

•           30 practitioners funded by Droogfontein Solar Power Energy (Globeleq) – approximately R2.1milion

•           20 practitioners funded by SIOC –approximately R2million


To improve performance in Mathematics and lay a good foundational knowledge at a very early stage, all 70 Grade R Practitioners in the Namakwa District have been trained on the Basic Concept Programme in order to address the diverse learning needs of children in Grade R and also to improve the quality of teaching and learning in grade R classes.

This will contribute towards improved learning outcomes in the Foundation Phase especially in Grade 1. 352 Practitioners in the other 4 districts (Frances Baard, Pixley Ka Seme, JTG and ZFM) will be trained on Basic Concepts in Mathematics Programme from 2019 – 2021.


ECD Programme


ECD Districts Contact Details


ECD: What a Grade R Learners Should Know

ECD: Pre Grade R Purpose


ECD Roll out Plan 2015

ECD Roll out Plan 2016

ECD Roll out Plan 2017

ECD Roll out Plan 2018


Model Grade R Classes

Grade R 2014 Final Allocations Per School 001

Grade R 2014 Final Allocations Per School 002 

ECD Roll out Plan 2014

ECD Roll out Plan