The Vangasali campaign seeks to find the details of all early childhood development (ECD) facilities in South Africa, registered or not. This is so that these facilities, so essential to pre-schoolers' physical and mental development, can be properly supported, especially during the national lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19.
Vangasali is a Xitsonga phrase meaning No one left behind, which is what the Vangasali campaign is trying to achieve. In May 2020, Phase 1 of the Vangasali campaign was launched that was aimed at finding every Early Childhood Development (ECD) service in South Africa. During this first phase, data was collected on the following ECD services: ECD centres or crèches (caters for 7 children or more); Play groups; Child-minders (caters for 6 children or less); Toy libraries; and Mobile ECD programmes.
During Phase 1 of the campaign, over 45 000 ECD services were identified – most of whom are unregistered. With the first phase of the Vangasali campaign now complete, the second phase of the campaign is aimed at supporting ECD services to apply for registration. This second phase - which will use the data collected during Phase 1 - will involve the nationwide implementation of the ECD Registration Framework, and the associated Vangasali registration toolkits and methods which create a developmental pathway for the registration of all types of ECD services.
The ECD Registration Framework allows for conditional registration of ECD services that meet Bronze or Silver level of compliance, and full registration for those ECD services achieving the Gold level of compliance. Previously, ECD services in certain municipalities that did not achieve all compliance standards (ie. Gold level) were not able to register with the Department of Social Development (DSD), while in other municipalities there was flexibility afforded to ECD services to attempt to get them into the government registration and funding streams. This tiered registration approach will enable the registration of ECD services especially in poor areas, that were previously not able to register owing to financial and municipal barriers. This pro-poor approach is essential to ensure that no one is left behind - be it children or ECD service providers.
Vangasali is a Xitsonga word meaning No One Left Behind, which is what this campaign is trying to do by finding every ECD service as this in the long term will help enable the realisation of quality ECD service provision to children. This notion of not leaving anyone behind is further emphasised by the tagline of Every Child Counts.
Unregistered ECD sites (from Phase 1) are to attend a registration jamboree and/ or receive an application pack. Extra packs will be made available, as some people may not have heard of Vangasali.
Unregistered ECD services are to submit their applications for registration. Queries will me manages through a WhatsApp and email helpline, as well as through the service offices.
Unregistered ECD services will prepare their sites in line with the framework. Everyone will be encouraged to submit an application, as some ECD services self-exclude based on the perception that they do not meet requirements.
Unregistered ECD services that submit complete applications will go into a registration track. That is, their sites will be assessed for registration by SSPs and EHPs, and if they meet the requirements of the Bronze/ Silver level they can get conditional registration.