In a quest to iron out challenges faced by local Early Childhood Development centres (ECDs) members of the Langa ECD Forum gathered at Iziko Restaurant on Wednesday 30 October. The meeting marked a year since the forum was re-established, following several years of challenges. According to Irene Silinga, co-founder and principal of the forum, it was established in 2006 as an umbrella body for all the local ECDs. However, it became “dysfunctional” due to alleged infighting. Forum’s chairperson Jean Mpati described the event as very inspiring. She said they elected new members to keep stability in the forum. “We revived the forum last year and recruited other new ECD’s to join,” said Mapati, adding that the forum has 36 ECD’s under its wings. She said their objective is to unite ECD’s in Langa to fight for their rights. Mpati said one of their challenges is to register with the City of Cape Town’s department of social development. “Most of the ECD’s are partially registered because they don’t meet all the requirements by the department and that forces us to renew every two years. It is also difficult to get City zoning certificates,” she said. Silinga said she has been running her ECD for 21 years. She cited that another challenge is parents who don’t want to pay them for their services. “Sometimes there are parents that bring their children to school during public holidays and when it’s time to pay they don’t want to. “Some parents don’t attend the parent meetings which makes it difficult to make crucial decisions,” said Silinga.Manager of business development at department of social development, Nomvume Ralarala said as the department their job is to ensure that all the ECD’s are registered and are complying with the legislature. She said they also ensure that the infrastructure that the ECD’s use is conducive.