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WC Social Development MEC warns of COVID-19 impact on ECDs

Western Cape Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez said that most centres were battling to remain afloat.

A happy group of diverse kids. Picture: 123rf.com

CAPE TOWN - The Western Cape Social Development MEC said that almost half of the early childhood development centres may be forced to shut down as funds ran dry during lockdown.

ECD centres have been closed since the national lockdown was implemented.

MEC Sharna Fernandez was addressing provincial parliament on Thursday afternoon.

"Many ECD operators are non-profit organisations and micro-social enterprises and are mostly run by caring mothers, grandmothers, aunties providing a service in poor communities with limited cashflows. These women often earn below minimum wage."

She said that most centres were battling to remain afloat.

"Our ECD sector has had no easy access to any of the economic relief packages offered by the national government and more than half of them might not be able to reopen once national DSD gives the green light for childcare to commence"

There are currently just over 1,500 registered ECD facilities in the province.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.