ECD Compliance Made Easy.

ECD Compliance Made Easy draws inspiration from a private sector approach to ensuring business compliance with operational laws. Core to this investment is an assessment app that helps Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) to navigate the ECD centre assessment process simply and easily.

The need

The process of assessing and supporting South African ECD centres to ensure compliance with government frameworks is fraught with challenges. There are currently an estimated 40 000 ECD centres across the country. Less than half of these have valid registration status. If ECD centres aren’t registered with the Department of Social Development, they are unable to access much-needed government funding.

The registration process is a lengthy one and requires, among other things, that centres meet government norms and standards for health and safety. Environmental Health Practitioners (EHPs) play a key role in this particular  assessment process, but they are regularly faced with a challenging dilemma – they cannot approve registration of sites that don’t comply with health and safety standards; but without approval these centres will be unable to access the government subsidy they need in order to upgrade their facilities to meet the standards.  A key barrier to registration is the receipt of an Environmental Health Certificate.

Many EHPs are left feeling understandably helpless and frustrated.

The innovation

Drawing inspiration from private sector approaches to ensuring compliance with operational laws, a tech-enabled toolkit helps EHPs navigate the ECD centre assessment process.

The mobile application assists NGOs and officials involved in the ECD registration process to support centres towards full compliance with national norms and standards. The app also assists in timeous and reliable reporting on registration blockages and enablers through real time data collection and analysis. ECD Compliance Made Easy distills complex health and safety legislations into a simple mobile checklist for use by EHPs during their assessment of an ECD centre.  The business model enables wide-scale access to this application.

The tool, endorsed by the national EHP professional body, enables practitioners to pivot their services from a punitive assessment approach towards one orientated around continuous improvement.

STATUS: In Proof of Concept phase

Key insights

When planning the pathway to scale for this innovation, it was clear that integration into government systems for ECD assessment and registration was key.

Both the feasibility and  proof of concept phases for this investment have been designed to include extensive consultation and testing with relevant government departments and their implementation partners

The project team

Two key public stakeholders in this project are the Department of Social Development and City Health Social Services, who also wish to see the pace of ECD registration increase.

Ilifa Labantwana and ELRU (Early Learning Research Unit), are involved in defining the content of the questions and aligning these to national norms and standards.

Ikamva Labantu and Learn to Live are the app functionality testers for infield research.

Content partner: Standards & Legal is committed to taking the stress out of legal requirements and management obligations so that organisations can move beyond compliance and build strategically and sustainably.

Tech partner: AppShed has created a free online app-creation tool where anyone can design and publish mobile apps for iOS, Android and web.

Last updated 11 June 2018

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