Scaling Up Early Childhood Development (ECD) (0-4 years) in South Africa: Support Structures

Research Report. Human Sciences Research Council

This paper is one of a series developed to inform the Scaling Up ECD Services (0–4 years) Research Project with the aim of improving child development and significant job creation. Lomofsky et al consider various options for support structures and mechanisms that could facilitate the implementation of the National Integrated Plan (NIP) for ECD, and to address its strategic priorities for scaling up ECD in South Africa. In particular, they focus on how state and civil society institutions can work together using different models of support, including social franchising, networks and associations, and capacity building and resource organisations. The contribution of this paper is to explore whether support organisations as intermediaries between government and civil society organisations (CSOs) could assist with the rapid scaling up of quality ECD in South Africa. The role players and linkages in the sector are presented in relation to the three levels of service provision as foreseen in the NIP – family, community and formal. The aim has been to look for models of supervisory structures (franchise approaches, networks and associations, and capacity building and resource organisations) that can pull together and assist service providers in delivering agreed programmes of ECD more consistently. Models of support should be seen as enablers, and used to unblock some of the constraints that arise from the structural gaps between government as a large bureaucracy and the CSOs working at community level.