Save the Children South Africa (SCSA) has handed over four newly built structures, to be used as Early Childhood and Development Centres (ECD). The buildings are located in Tjakastaad and Hartebeeskop in Mpumalanga.
They were built under the Happy Living and Learning (HLL) project, which began in 2018. The project is aimed at increasing access to and improving the quality of ECD services for previously disadvantaged children. This is done throughstrengthening the capacity of ECD centre and home–based practitioners, supervisors and parents/caregivers and improving the quality of centre infrastructure and services.
ECD services for children between the ages of 0-5 years in South Africa, is of poor quality, marred by lack of infrastructure, underqualified educators, inadequate learning and teaching support materials and variable quality curriculum.
“We use to teach in a shack and during winter or rainy days we would struggle to keep the children warm. So thank you Save the Children! I hope you will continue to help communities like ours. I would also like to plead with parents to support us, so that we can continue with our work,” says one of the beneficiaries, Dudu Gantana.
“Save the Children did not only build us these structures, but they also trained us on how teach children in areas of literacy and numeracy,” adds Philile Khumalo, Ncobani’s ECD Centre Manager.
SCSA’s Mpumalanga and Gauteng Provincial Manager, Eric Mahlo has urged various stakeholders, to help with sustaining the centres and getting them centres registered with Department of Social Development (DSD).
“These centres that we identified, were not even able to register with DSD and if they are not registered, they cannot even get subsidies, with this job now done, we saying to our partners and stakeholders can we now continue to support these ECD centres,” says Mahlo.
The HLL project is available in three provinces which are Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.