A drive to empower ECD centres on child protection

Monday 28 May 2018
Save the Children South Africa has embarked on a drive aimed at equipping ECD practitioners with the tools to take care of children and enhance their resilience to violence.  The primary focus is on prevention of violence against children, reducing the amount of violence that children are exposed to, upskilling children and parents to identify, report and respond to violence.
 
The strengthening of child protection through the empowerment of educators, Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners and children, will help create a safe and secure environment for children.
 
The training is taking place at ECD centres in Gauteng, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal. ECD practitioners and their staff should be screened to ensure that children are in safe hands. Recently we have seen distressing reports of children falling victim to atrocious acts of violence at day care centres. In one incident an ECD centre employee allegedly raped a two year old girl in Cape Town. The case was struck off the court roll, because she was too young to testify.
 
“Violence against children is the ultimate abuse of power. Adults should use their power to influence change of behaviour in a positive manner. Their power should be used to protect children and not to harm them,” said Gugu Ndebele, Save the Children South Africa’s CEO.
 
SCSA is also concerned about the children who are roaming the streets unprotected, because either parents cannot afford to pay fees at ECD centres or they do not see the importance of these centres. SCSA runs its own ECD centres in provinces like Gauteng and Mpumalanga and supports ECD centres in Free State and Limpopo.
The National Development Plan states clearly, that if we invest in quality early childhood development, we can have sustained future growth. We need to take care and protect our children and let South Africa flourish. 
 
To make direct donations to Save the Children South Africa visit https://www.savethechildren.org.za/donate
 
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For more information or to set up an interview contact: Sibusiso Khasa on 073 449 6871 or [email protected]
 
About: Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In South Africa and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share.
 
Note to the Editor: If children are affected, we’ve got something to say. Our team of experts are available for comments, interviews and information.