Grants available for early childhood projects


Mr Benstrong explaining the procedures to apply for a grant under the ECCE Trust Fund

The procedure to apply for a grant under the National Early Childhood Care and Education Trust Fund (ECCE Trust Fund) was presented by its vice-chairperson Michael Benstrong during a ceremony held recently at the National Council for Children (NCC), Bel Eau.

Established early last year, the trust fund’s aim is to provide funds and other support for education programmes and related projects for persons below 8 years of age.

Present at the presentation were Designated Minister Vincent Meriton, other ministers and high government officials as well as the chairperson of the trust fund, Lambert Woodcock.

There were also potential applicants for the grants who included daycare owners as well as representatives from several State schools.

During the ceremony the trust fund’s promotional material were also presented to partners and stakeholders. And two private businesses contributed money towards the fund: Textbook and Printing gave R3000 while R&R Property Limited donated R2000.

One member of the trust fund, Shirley Choppy, made the presentation to Mr Woodcock on behalf of these businesses.

Mr Woodcock accepts the donations from Mrs Choppy

Mr Woodcock said the ECCE Trust Fund was set up to mobilise resources for the development of ECCE so as to ensure the sustainability of its education programmes and projects.

“The National ECCE Trust Fund is set under the Public Finances Act and nine members make up the Board of Trustees.”
He said the government has committed R1 million each year since its inception and “we have so far collected R69,500 from the private sector as well as donation in kind”.

He explained that an applicant must represent a registered or licenced organisation to be eligible for a fund.
“The project must relate to training, educational or recreational programmes and activities.”

And the applicant must contribute 25% of the total amount.

He also thanked Vice-President Danny Faure for his special commitment to the development of the early childhood programme and all who have sponsored generously towards it.

Mr Woodcock calls on the private sector and individuals to also contribute towards the ECCE Trust Fund adding that they will also organise several activities to raise funds.

Mr Benstrong said the funds are appropriately disbursed once the approval of the Board has been communicated to the applicant.

“They are disbursed by installment upon the provision of pro-forma invoices and will be paid directly to the supplier.”
The application forms for grant are available from the NCC or on its website

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