Day Care Centre Requirements in South Africa

Learn what the day care centre requirements are in South Africa by following this easy guide on how to get started and what needs to be in order.

Opening a daycare center in South Africa is a rewarding endeavor that requires careful planning and adherence to various legal, operational, and quality standards.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through the essential requirements and steps to establish a successful daycare center that provides a nurturing environment for young children while meeting all regulatory obligations.

What Services Should a Day Care Centre Offer?

Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers, usually referred to as daycare facilities, must concentrate on a number of critical aspects of a child’s development and attend to their physical, mental, emotional, and social requirements.

Programs in ECD facilities should be centered on concepts, tools, and activities that support our kids’ development. In playroom and playground settings that have been designed by an educator to give a variety of learning opportunities, children should also be encouraged to learn at their own speed.

The daily schedule of a daycare facility should also contain activities that the educator plans and facilitates, such story time, singing, and physical games, so that children can learn in a well-rounded way and get ready for the future.

The Importance of a Day Centre

When you’re looking at day care centre requirements, you should at least know the importance of one of these centres.

Day care centers hold immense importance in modern society, offering a solution for working parents who seek reliable care for their children. These centers act as a bridge between home and school, providing a structured yet comforting environment where children can learn, play, and interact with their peers.

The changing dynamics of households, with both parents often employed, have led to an increased demand for quality day care services. Parents are keen on enrolling their children in centers that not only ensure safety but also contribute to their holistic development.

Day Care Centre Requirements

Establishing a day care center in South Africa requires adherence to specific legal regulations. Obtaining the necessary licenses from the Department of Social Development is crucial. This ensures that the center meets the stipulated safety, health, and educational standards.

Creating an inviting and secure physical environment is paramount. Adequate indoor and outdoor space, child-friendly furniture, and age-appropriate educational materials must be incorporated to facilitate learning and growth.

The center’s staff must possess the right qualifications and a genuine passion for childcare. Background checks and proper training are essential to guarantee a safe and enriching experience for the children.


The Location: A daycare center should be situated in a secure, well-kept area that is easily accessible and close to the homes or workplaces of parents who can afford your services. The building or area utilized as a daycare should be in a convenient location and have all the amenities required. Among these are the kitchen, restrooms, bedrooms, blankets, toys, and outside play areas. You must always bear in mind that you need to create an atmosphere that appeals to parents and makes children happy and comfortable while developing or modeling your crèche. Parents and children won’t use your services or refer others to it if they don’t like the atmosphere of your childcare facility.

The Registration: All daycare facilities in Africa are required by law to register. Every program should make sure the kids using the facility are getting the degree of education that is legally mandated.

Use Form 16 or get in touch with one of the regional offices of the Department of Social Development to register your institution. On the department’s website, you may find their contact information.

The Training: The DSD requirements for daycare centers state that staff members must be between the ages of 18 and 60. Any employee, regardless of position, must also have medical clearance in order to be authorized to work in a childcare facility. All employees must have first aid training and certification, according to the DSD.  Social services mandate that all employees be “knowledgeable and respectful of children’s culture.”

How to Start a Day Care Centre in South Africa

The above and below information can help with understanding the day care centre requirements that need to be met.

Your company must first be registered as a non-profit organization (NPO).

Visit the Department of Social Development’s or your local municipality’s nearest office to submit an application for registration or conditional registration of your daycare center or ECD center.

Your application should include the following information: personal information (such as identification, address, and phone number); physical and postal addresses of the care center; the maximum number of children who can be housed there; your qualifications, skills, and experience; and a description of the programs and services to be provided, including their objectives.

Send in a business plan that details the care center’s operating hours, pricing structure, daycare schedule, employee makeup, and disciplinary procedures.

The charter, which details the name of the daycare facility, the makeup, responsibilities, and powers of the management, as well as authorized building plans, an emergency plan, and a clearance certificate.

What Do I Need to Start a Day Care

The following can be seen as important day care centre requirements:

Licensing Requirements: Check with your local government to understand the licensing and regulatory requirements for daycare facilities in your area.

Zoning Laws: Ensure that your chosen location complies with zoning laws for a daycare business.

Market Research: Understand the demand for daycare services in your community and identify potential competitors.

Business Structure: Decide on a legal structure for your daycare, such as sole proprietorship, partnership, or LLC.

Insurance: Obtain liability insurance to protect your business from potential accidents or incidents.

Choose a Suitable Location: Select a location that is safe, accessible, and meets zoning requirements.

Safety Measures: Implement safety measures, such as childproofing, fire safety, and emergency procedures.

Design and Layout: Create a child-friendly environment with age-appropriate furniture, toys, and learning materials.

Health and Hygiene: Ensure proper sanitation, cleanliness, and hygiene standards are maintained.

Qualifications: Hire qualified staff with appropriate educational backgrounds and experience in childcare.

Background Checks: Conduct thorough background checks on all staff members.

Develop a Curriculum: Plan age-appropriate activities and educational programs.

Daily Schedule: Establish a daily schedule that includes playtime, learning activities, meals, and rest periods.


Establishing a day care center in South Africa demands careful consideration of legal requirements, safety measures, curriculum planning, and staff training. These centers are not only spaces of care but also platforms for children’s holistic development.

We hope the above help you with achieving the day care centre requirements.

By providing a nurturing, stimulating, and secure environment, day care centers contribute significantly to a child’s early years, ensuring a bright start for their lifelong journey of learning and growth.