In 2008, the South African government identified Early Childhood Development as a national priority. The National Department of Social Development (DSD) commissioned a national audit of registered Early Learning Centres. The scope was later extended to include centres with conditional registration, and unregistered centres. The aim of the audit was to obtain data on the nature and extent of ECD provisioning, services, resources and infrastructure in South Africa across registration statuses in order to inform and support ongoing policy and planning initiatives in the ECD sector. The Economic Policy Research Institute (EPRI) conducted the audit, which covered 19,971 ECD centres across the nine provinces.These comprised 17 846 audited ECD centres and 2 125 ECD centres where the questionnaire could not be administered.
Kind of Data
Unit of Analysis
Individuals and institutions
v1.1: Edited, anonymised dataset for public distribution
Version 1 data was deposited with DataFirst in 2017.
Version 1.1 data was anonymised by DataFirst.
Version 1.2 was further anonymised
Data collected on ECD facilities includes: Registration of the facility, the geographical location of the site, infrastructure (access to roads, electricity, toilets, water), health and safety provision, and special equipment. Other facility level data collected included the financial base of the site, the nature of the site (school-based, home-based or community based), its sustainability (how long it has been operating), its operating hours, and key aspects of the educational activities at the site.
At the educator level, the audit collected data on all educators at the site. Data was also collected on the curriculum and record-keeping at the facility. Learner data collected included the total number of learners, their age, gender, and race. Data was also captured on the number of learners with disabilities and the nature of these disabilities.
Early childhood development
Early learning centres
The survey had national coverage.
The lowest level of geographic aggregation of the data is Municipality.
The universe of the study included Early Childhood Development facilities, and educators and learners at these sites.
Public access data for use under a Creative Commons CC-BY (Attribution-only) License
Department of Social Development. Early Childhood Development Census 2009-2014 [dataset]. Version 1.1. Pretoria: DSD [producer], 2014. Cape Town: DataFirst [distributor], 2017. DOI: https://doi.org/10.25828/ea1g-n104