Community Observations

These observations and conclusions were drawn after field work in both Monwabisi Park and in a neighboring informal settlement, Enkanini. These findings grouped together with research into ECD were the basis of our designs.

ECD in Crèches

  • Crèches are the main source of stimulation for children in Monwabisi Park.centrebasedecd
  • Crèches provided children with resources such as toys, books, and daily regimented programmes.
  • Daily programmes include activities such as meal time, nap time, and learning how to use the bathroom.
  • Some crèches also included English in their programme to introduce the language at a young age.
  • The most common concerns of crèche owners were a need for more physical space as well as for a larger number of staff.

ECD in Homeshome ecd big

  • Children often received less stimulation in homes because their parents did not have access to materials such as toys and books.
  • Parents were most concerned about the safety of their children, as they could not complete all their necessary daily chores while still looking after their children.
  • None of the families we visited had access to any type of ECD outreach programme to supplement the care they provided in their own homes.

The main concern of key stakeholders and community members throughout Monwabisi Park was providing ECD to children who are not currently in crèches.  Crèche owners want to reach out to families whose children are not attending a crèche, but they either don’t know how to do so or do not have the needed resources. The community expressed a desire for a programme that would help provide every child with access to the proper stimulation needed for development.

Outreach Programme

In working towards designing an outreach programme for Monwabisi Park, we explored many different options for what programmes would benefit the community the most.  One such option was to adapt the existing outreach programmes to fit into the redevelopment plans of the VPUU in Monwabisi Park.  We found that home-visiting programmes such as Sikhula Sonke’s Family Community Motivators programme are very effective, but are too expensive when implemented on a larger scale.  Parent empowerment and playgroup style outreach can be incorporated into an outreach programme, but would not serve our purposes as stand-alone programmes.  After consulting with representatives from the Centre for Early Childhood Development (CECD) and Early Learning Resource Unit (ELRU), we found that incorporating other programmatic elements into a network of Emthonjeni sites would provide the most well-rounded programme. The Emthonjeni programme is a cost effective option for an outreach programme that fits into the VPUU’s spatial redevelopment plans.  The hope is that this programme will be easily replicated on a larger scale due to the abundance of taps located throughout Monwabisi Park.  The central locations of the taps allow the ECD outreach programme to be accessible to all community members.  The potential of this programme lies in the high level of community involvement and the feeling of ownership of the Emthonjeni sites.