Covid-19 challenges for ECD

BRIDGE has been involved in a number of activities at an individual level and in collaboration with others in the sector, particularly in the context of COVID-19. COVID-19 has presented challenges to a sector that has long been navigating workable solutions in the ultimate quest to see children receiving quality access to ECD services. COVID-19 has added undue pressure on the ECD sector by imposing more financial constraints on ECD operators because of the closures that had to take place and now the decreased flow in income after the official reopening.

BRIDGE has been involved in the following:

– Series of ECD CoPs (national and provincial) to discuss the reopening and what would be required in this process in terms of protocol etc. The conversations were then packaged as a position paper.

– BRIDGE formed part of the workstreams that were called on by the DSD to collaboratively prepare a framework for reopening.

– Through the BRIDGE Reference Group, BRIDGE has requested the DSD to kindly revive the Intersectoral Forum meeting in the spirit of ensuring that communication between civil society and government continues.

– Through CECDN and the steering committee of the Intersectoral forum, engagements with DSD continue around challenges facing the sector both in the context of Covid-19 and outside of this pandemic.

We recently held a CoP that tried to understand what has been happening on the ground since the official reopening. Unfortunately, a gloomy picture of confusion and weakening provision emerged. BRIDGE will continue to work with government and other stakeholders through various forums on appropriate solutions as communicated by the ECD CoP members.