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 access to Grade R. Access to Grade R in public ordinary schools has been expanded from 11 406 in 2009 to 18 627 in 2015. Illustratively, in 2014, there were 18 056 learners. This translates into an increase of 571 more Grade R leaners in one year only.


This programme has been allocated a total of R 89, 8 million for the 2015/16, up from R 76, 7 in 2012/13. Funding will increase to an estimated R122m by 2017/18 financial year. As a province, we are currently funding a Grade R learner at 70 % of what we spend on a Grade 1 learner. This is in accordance with the directive of the Norms and Standards for Grade R Funding.


This programme impacts positively on improved learning outcomes and positive results have been registered in the foundation phase already. The significance of having properly qualified and competent Grade R teachers cannot be over emphasised. To this end, a total of 130 Grade R practitioners and 50 Pre Grade R Practitioners within Community Centres are registered with the North West University (NWU) for a Diploma in Grade R i.e. National Qualification Framework (NQF) Level 6 which is equivalent to a RQV 13 qualification. This programme runs for three years, starting in the current financial year.


Working in close collaboration with our sister department, the Department of Social Development, we almost completed a database of all ECD (Pre-Grade R) practitioners which indicate their current qualifications. This will inform on-going professional development programmes which will be pursued so as to ensure that our learners are appropriately stimulated for further learning.


The provision of adequate infrastructure, especially double Grade R classrooms is key in ensuring that teaching and learning occur in a conducive environment. These classrooms are customised to suite a Grade R learner assist the teaching to initiate appropriate grade R learning experience. Accordingly, a total of 26 double Grade R classrooms are being constructed in the 2015/2016 financial year. Additionally, the indoor educational equipment will be procures for 30 targeted schools during the current financial year.


The National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for 0-4 years old is currently being piloted in 50 Grade R registered Community Based Centres in 2015. The Full implementation of the NCF for public ordinary schools will start in 2015 school year.



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

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