Resourceful Young Children

Resourceful Young Children
Learning Brief

Ekukhanyeni Relief Project

Assisting and developing crèches in poor and marginalised areas

Category: Resourceful Young Children | Comprehensive ECD package | 28 February, 2013 - 00:08


The process of assisting our 15 beneficiary crèches in the informal settlement of Lawley Ext 3 (City of Johannesburg’s Region G) to register with DSD as a Place of Care to access enabling grants has been a significant challenge.  Not only is their relative location in an informal settlement where the land has not yet been promulgated  a challenge for registration, but also for the earlier steps of becoming compliant with City By-Laws. Even though much development has taken place with these crèches which started off as the commonly known ‘’backroom crèche’’ and have since been upgraded either to brick structures or to safer, more hygienic structures to create loving and nurturing environments for the children and their adult support network, it has been a long road to compliancy.

Although we were successful in helping one crèche to register with DSD in the reporting period, due to the fact that the crèche is positioned on a community Ministry site, our efforts directed at the other crèches have proven fruitless.  Experience shows that until the land is promulgated, crèches, even those that do have brick structures will not meet the requirements for:

  1. Public Health permits and Certificates of Acceptability with Environment Health (EH) and
  2. Emergency Management Services (EMS)

as both require approved building plans which cannot be done without title deeds. These cannot be issued until the land is promulgated, the time-frame of which has not been finalized.

Placed on the backburner? – If the status quo remains the same, it looks like registration with DSD will be placed on the backburner until such time that either the land is promulgated and title deeds can be issued for approval of building plans, or there is a change in government policy to make provision for circumstances as we have been presented with in an informal settlement environment - not in any way unique to this country. Staying aware and plugged into ECD networks in the Region and into the City’s interventions in this focus area will be key.

Call for government intervention –Although there seems to be some movement by the City to support and develop ECD facilities in the poorest and marginalised areas, this is clearly constrained by the various existing By-Laws and in some cases are counter-productive to the development of ECD in informal areas. Where development is inhibited by existing by-laws, a review and redrafting may be an option to pursue and a change in the existing regulations a necessity.   This is not only pertinent to registration with DSD as a Place of Care, but also for working towards compliancy. There seems to be a tier of crèches that exists between those ECD sites that are totally not adequate and a safety hazard for the children and those that meet all requirements for DSD registration – namely, the many crèches in informal areas which have been developed and meet requirements to where they can. Children in marginalised areas such as our beneficiary area depend on easily accessible crèches for their safety and for their development and would otherwise be on the street during the day without any support.

The future of our children are in our hands –Ekukhanyeni will continue with its efforts to develop the crèches as much as is possible to be compliant with By-Laws, up-skill the adult support network in each crèche, continue with the early education component for the children, as well as register crèches as non-profit organizations (NPO) where requirements are less stringent. And hopefully, a new set of regulations will be created which will support and not alienate those crèches that cannot meet the stringent requirements for DSD registration which in our learning experience only perpetuates social exclusion.

Read the full brief here


Plot 79 Mimosa Street, Midrand, Gauteng South Africa

 (011) 794 1027

In Short

In this one-page-pitch the Ekukhanyeni Relief Project describes the challenge of getting community crèches in informal settlements registered with the Department of Social Development (DSD) in order to access enabling grants. This is such an important issue that we asked them to develop the pitch into a full learning brief for our Hands-on publication.  You can read the full learning brief here

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