This mobile app empowers Social Workers, Environmental Health Practitioners and other professionals to navigate the complexities of preschool centre compliance for government registration. It helps pivot the services and support offered by assessors from punitive to an approach that enables continued improvements.
There are an estimated 40 000 preschools in South Africa. Less than half are registered with government. Preschools not registered with the relevant government department 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) and social workers 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.
Drawing inspiration from private sector approaches to ensuring compliance with operational laws, a toolkit in the form of a mobile app helps EHPs and other assessors navigate the preschool centre assessment and registration process.
This ECD registration support app distils complex compliance legislation into simple mobile checklists/questionnaires for use by social workers and EHPs during their assessment of a preschool. It also assists in timeous and reliable reporting on registration blockages and enablers through real time data collection and analysis.
Once completed, the app will be freely available to download from Google Play and the Apple App store.
Our ultimate goal is to reduce the time it takes for a preschool to become compliant with national norms and standards. The long-term goal of the app is that it will lead to improved success rates in preschools becoming registered and retaining their registration status – thus ensuring improved quality of care for young children. This support app will assist in addressing blockages, facilitating and streamlining preschool assessments and test the National Department of Social Development’s bronze, silver, gold registration framework (in development).
The Project Team
Network Action Group (NAG) is a network of grassroots organisations in the Ugu District of Kwazulu Natal. Their aim is to strengthen management and leadership in the CBO and NGO sectors, working closely with government departments.
Early Learning Resource Unit (ELRU) is an internationally recognised NGO involved in early childhood development.
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