Philippi: Safer places for kids to play

2015-07-07 06:00
Pre-school children of Ikamvalethu educare centre in Philippi dance as they celebrate their upgraded centre.

Pre-school children of Ikamvalethu educare centre in Philippi dance as they celebrate their upgraded centre.

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Children must be allowed to be children.

Instead of parents or guardians leaving their little ones to fend for themselves, locking them indoors to keep them safe or relying on a grandparent to look after them, most parents want their babies and toddlers to go to a crèche that has the facilities to give their children a place to play. However, there are not many suitable educare centres in the townships.

To make sure that children have a safe place to play and learn, the Rotary Club of Claremont and Lewis Group have created a long-term partnership, called the Injongo Educare Project, to improve 47 needy edu-care centres in Philippi.

This year they have already upgraded five early childhood development (ECD) centres as part of their drive to improve conditions in the area. The centres that received much-needed improvements are Ikamvalethu, Nobubele, Sophumelela, Qhama and Nceduluntu. These ECD centres care for babies and children up to six years old.

The Rotarians handed over the improved ECD centres on Friday last week. At each of the five centres, the children enjoyed a celebratory party to herald in their new crèches.

Rotary Claremont and Lewis Group have spent R8 million on the project so far.

At the start Rotary Claremont studied what ECD centres needed to do to ensure health and safety and provide stimulation. The findings revealed that all the centres operating in Philippi are vulnerable.

Without a physical upgrade, many centres would not be able to register for a government subsidy.

The physical upgrades are accompanied by helping the principals and staff with other skills essential in running a successful educare centre

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