Resources for South African Creches

In South Africa, a registered crèche follows the government policies in exchange for potentially receiving subsidies for resources. A non-registered crèche doesn’t necessarily follow the government policies and doesn’t receive any funding from the government. Between 2006 and 2011, the government has gone from providing R683, 379 of financial support for ECD to providing R3, 241,780, which is more than a 400% growth for registered crèches. Even with this change, the needs of ECD programmes throughout the country are not met. Due to this, ECD centres are seeking support in other ways to improve quality education and care for children.

Supporting Registered and Non-Registered ECD Centres

The support for unregistered crèches is usually limited to NGO support, donations, and tuition. This means that there is much less opportunity for such centres to find aid. One reason for this limitation is that not all crèches can afford the initial investment of upgrading facilities to meet the minimum standard for registration as given by the Department of Social Development (DSD). This creates a perpetual cycle that prevents such centres from obtaining the means necessary to reach the standards of the government. The benefit of registering a crèche is very clear in the amount and quality of support given by the government. Registering a crèche allows the facility to receive R15.00 per child per day. The compliance with the government’s standards to become registered would allow more ECD centres to receive support. Not only would this lower the cost of tuition for families sending their children to private ECD centres, but it would also allow for the extension of higher levels of ECD to more children throughout South Africa. The importance of registering a crèche is made evident purely by the amount of financial support given to such ECD centres and the improvements that may come of such support.

Support Through NGO’s

Many NGO’s support crèches. NGOs are more prone to helping unregistered crèches. Much of the NGO support is not financial but is through the development of training programmes for teacher and staff working at childcare facilities. These trainings are offered at little to no cost and are accessible to   childcare workers. The Centre for Early Childhood Development (CECD) is one particular NGO that offers a variety of free training programmes such as: governing body training, skills enrichment workshops, parent-training programmes, training on the effective use of educational equipment, HIV/AIDS training, and the effective use of technology in the ECD classroom. These programmes are designed to be broad and ‘non-prescriptive’, that way the lessons taught in each programme can be tailored to fit the needs of the particular community. There is often an emphasis on literacy and language development, as well as the importance of incorporating it into the centres lessons. The CECD also offers facility upgrades, including anything from fixing up a floor, to putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls. They also help by supplying equipment through a need based system. Although the CECD does not provide monetary support, they have been able to help over 300 ECD centres and have affected over 30,000 children (Centre for Early Childhood Development, 2013). Another important method of support by the CECD is the guidance for ECD centres to become registered with the government to allow for financial assistance.