As the Covid-19 panic set in last year, early childhood development (ECD) programmes in SA were instructed to shut their doors along with schools on March 18. By the third quarter, when many pupils had returned to school and the economy was reopening, the ECD sector remained largely inactive.

Despite a July 6 high court judgment allowing ECD programmes to operate with immediate effect, most had not opened between mid-July and the end of August...

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