Residents attended a ceremony on Saturday 31 August, where nine new volunteers were certified to facilitate early childhood development (ECD) in Ocean View, and a promising outlook was given on the future of an ECD centre in the area.Ocean View’s New Life Kids Centre, which has seen hundreds of children pass through the facility, was given a positive boost by the department of social development (DSD) and ECD services provider, the Grassroots Trust. “After almost five years of challenges, the DSD has commissioned Grassroots to train our volunteers, and they (Grassroots) are going to continue to help us for the next part of our journey,” said Johann Kikillus, the founder of the centre.Kikillus launched the childcare centre after identifying the need for safe spaces. “Back in 2012 there was a lot of violence and a lot of shooting and children used to run into our property because it was not safe,” he said. Seeing children playing in the street throughout the week, he decided to start up the care centre to provide foundational education and safety. “There were always children running around who were not in crèche and the parents said it was too expensive. We’ve managed, up until today, to run a free care centre for more than 400 children, who have been cared for by very many volunteers.”Mareldia Tape, director of the Grassroots Trust, is highly knowledgeable in the area of ECD. The trusts has been providing its services for about 47 years. She elaborated on the role played by foundational educators in the lives of children. “The importance of preschool is that we are facilitating children to become confident for the world,” she said. Patricia Francke, the City of Cape Town’s subcouncil 19 chairperson, was also eager to make a positive impact on the early education of children. She alluded to the idea of improvement of the current circumstances faced by the ECD, by taking the matter which is close to her heart to other structures in the City. She said: “Johann and I have discussed containers for the kids and my gripe is that I do not believe in containers for children, I believe in proper structures. I can’t see the children staying in a container and I will be taking this further.”New playgroup leaders were certified to care for the children going forward and they expressed gratitude for being afforded this opportunity.