City’s créche gets operator

2016-02-09 06:00

The Strandfontein early childhood development (ECD) centre is one of many planned as part of a City of Cape Town project.

After the official turning of the sod in 2014, the Strandfontein and Fisantekraal ECD facilities already have their operators appointed.

After the City builds ECD centres, they are leased to private operators.

In addition, the City is finalising the appointment of operators for the completed Ocean View ECD centre. The construction programme for the current financial year is on track, says the City. The City’s social development and early childhood development directorate has budgeted R12m towards the construction and finalisation of three facilities.

More centresThe Nantes ECD centre in Athlone is scheduled for completion in May, while the process to appoint an operator for the Golden Gate ECD centre in Netreg is under way. Construction of the Delft ECD centre is set to start in April, with completion expected in February 2017.

“There have been instances where appointing operators has taken longer than we might have hoped, but we have to follow due process. We have also been subject to unfortunate construction delays over the years, but ultimately we are working as quickly as possible to get these facilities up and running to help address the pressing need for quality ECD facilities in our most vulnerable areas,” says Suzette Little, mayoral committee member for social development and early childhood development.

The directorate currently has 26 fully functioning ECD centres across the city that are leased to private operators.

TrainingIn addition, ECD practitioners are trained on national norms and standards, while resources and support are provided to ECD centres that have yet to become registered facilities. During the current financial year, the directorate aims to help 200 ECDs to become compliant so that they may register with the Western Cape department of social development. This will be done by giving them items such as first-aid kits, learning materials, blankets and mattresses.

Toy libraryThe directorate is in the process of forming a partnership with the City’s library and information services department to establish ECD toy library resource sections within City libraries. The aim is to provide opportunities for the ECD sector, including parents and caregivers, to have access to toys and educational materials for children.

“Building ECDs is one of our top priorities, but we recognise that by building partnerships with private ECD operators we can benefit more children. So we will continue providing training, services and resources to as many ECDs as our budget allows,” says Little.

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