Parents fight for centre

2018-02-21 06:01
A group of parents whose children are registered at the Lehakwe Day-care Centre hold placards bearing messages.

A group of parents whose children are registered at the Lehakwe Day-care Centre hold placards bearing messages.

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Parents who have enrolled their children at the Lehakwe Day-care Centre in Phase 6, Bloemfontein, have vowed to fight the non-profit organisation South African Forum for Early Childhood Development (SAFECD).

This follows the apparent intention of the organisation to shut down the newly established day-care centre caring for children who are from younger than a year to five years old.

The brick-built centre has 26 children in its care after it opened in mid-January. It is exclusively managed by women who have formed a consortium and partnership sharing know­ledge and experience in running successful day-care centres in Bloemfontein.

Drama unfolded on Wednesday (14/02) when parents had a public spat with a group of about 75 women of the SAFECD. The confrontation lasted for about an hour, with some of the gravely concerned parents on guard to fend off aggrieved members of the SAFECD.

According to informants, the organisation mainly operates in Botshabelo and does not regulate day-care centres in Bloemfontein.

“We were not informed we shouldn’t open a day-care close to another and that there was regulation regarding that. At the first meeting of the forum, people interested in opening a day-care centre in Phase 6 were informed that a meeting would be held for people outside Bloemfontein. To our surprise, angry members pitched last Wednesday demanding that we close the centre,” Matseko Letolo, centre manager, said.

Unhappy parent Kelebogile Molete would not hide her frustration.

“I registered my child at this centre because of the conducive conditions here at the Lehakwe.

“I’m not going to register my child at a centre where conditions are unhealthy. We want the best for our children and it is our right and in the best interest of our children.”

Efforts by Express to get clarity from members of the SAFECD were futile, as they referred the publication to the manager of the Lehakwe Day-care Centre.

At the height of the confrontation, members of the police were called on to quell the tension. Members of the organisation then left in a fleet of five minibuses to look for the ward councillor, apparently to urge him to close the centre.

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