Open doors to future

2016-11-01 06:00
The R8.8m Nantes educare opened on Thursday. The centre will cater to 120 children primarily from the immediate area. PHOTO: Earl haupt

The R8.8m Nantes educare opened on Thursday. The centre will cater to 120 children primarily from the immediate area. PHOTO: Earl haupt

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Just over a year ago the area next to Nantes Park started its transformation from a dumping ground in Bridgetown.

The Nantes early childhood development centre was unveiled to the public on Thursday by Suzette Little, Mayco member for social development and early childhood development.

The centre was constructed over six months, with work starting in April, at a cost of just over R8.8m.

It is just under 500m2 and includes three classrooms for three- to four-year-olds and two classrooms for four- to five-year-olds as well as a baby area, a sick bay, a staff room, ablutions, a kitchen area and a storeroom. Outside there are two playing areas with play equipment, a food garden, a recycling area and a collection and drop-off zone.

The main objective of building the centre is so that more children can go to a registered centre. The Nantes centre can cater for 120 children.

Little expressed her joy at seeing a project reach its completion.

“I hope that the community will really appreciate what has been done. That they look after it, that it please not be vandalised, because I know that unfortunately there are those within our community who have no respect for anything, not themselves or anybody else’s property. We need to curb that, because this is for our children. It is for all children. I hope that when they see it, that they respect it as such,” she says.

The facility will be run by Bridges Play Centre’s Audrey Swartz.

“For getting this opportunity we are pleased and it is all in God’s plans. For us to be able to facilitate in this building, to provide this service to a young life, makes a difference to the community. We need to have that interaction between parents, children and teachers. We need the parents’ support when it is needed in the child’s progress, because it doesn’t just come from us. Also, to be there, to be supportive to the centre for whatever we need them to come and assist us with,” she says.

Rashied Adams, ward councillor for the area, says communication lines needed to stay open between his office and the centre. He says he was encouraged by the relationship he already had with Bridges Play Centre.

“This facility will be able to breed a new generation where we are going to be able to educate our children at the grassroots [level]. Grassroots education seems to be overlooked in many aspects, but we are going to make sure that it is not going to happen here. We are going to be able to provide them with proper facilities and provide proper education so that they walk away with the knowledge that makes them better prepared as Grade 1s. That will be the stepping stone of a good educational career for all of our children,” says Adams.

Adams adds that there would still be opportunities for the community to get involved with the centre.

“According to Mrs Swartz, she will be placing ads in the local newspapers, but she will also be informing my office of the processes. If anybody wants information and not read about it yet, they are most welcome to call my office.”

The City of Cape Town is also in discussion with Early Learning Years about establishing a toy library at the facility, says Little.

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