Act One: Getting Started

Cast of Characters:

Ms. May, Tasneem, Mama, ECDC Team, Mbala, Kiddies College Preschool too, and Rita

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Throughout the preparation period of this project we researched many different aspects of early childhood development, crèches, and general information about South Africa as a whole. When we arrived at our first day with our sponsors we soon realized that our concerns, of not gather the most vital information, could be forgotten. We quickly realized that through our research of the registration process with crèches and the government requirements involved with this process, we could have working discussions with our sponsors. On our first day we were informed that Kiddies College Preschool, where we would be working for the next 8 weeks, would like to open a new location and had a facility already in mind. Our group was ready to begin the steps necessary to assist in any way possible with the hope of getting this new crèche ready to conduct business before our departure from Cape Town.


Over the first week of our work with Kiddies College Preschool we observed the methods of teaching and way of life in the school. We learned much about Ms. May and listened to many stories about the development of the school over the last fifteen years. Once we were informed of her desire to open Kiddies College Preschool Too, we began to move forward in gathering information and getting the ball forward.


First Day of School at Kiddies College Preschool


During A-term, our group prepared to work with Kiddies College Preschool. A main focus of the project is to build a working relationship with Kiddies College so future project teams can use this connection and our gained knowledge as resources to help improve crèches in informal settlements.  The best way to approach this objective was to address Kiddies’ immediate needs including the expansion of facilities, registration of the new facility and possible upgrades to record keeping of the centre. To prepare ourselves for these potential projects we researched facilities, government registration, record keeping, and general Early Childhood Development in South Africa.  We did not have contact with our liaison, Ms. May, throughout the preparation period as she was traveling.  Before arrival, we did not have many expectations of the crèche. At this point in time we had been able to see a few pictures of the facility and children on their blog, but no contact with our liaison left our group with many questions to be answered.  All we were aware of was to arrive at the Observatory Community Centre where Kiddies is located at 10 O’ Clock on Monday morning the 28th of October where Kiddies staff would be gladly waiting for us.

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Hit the Ground Running


Our first few days on the project were busy. Our liaison, Ms. May, began by explaining that she wanted to move quickly in obtaining the potential location in Plumstead, but it was clear that we would need government approval before signing the lease. Ms. May gave us information on which departments of the government we must contact to begin moving toward registration. She suggested that we start with the Department of Social Development (DSD). We had immediately started by calling DSD’s Wynberg office in an attempt to make an appointment with a social worker, as Plumstead is a suburb of Wynberg.  Fortunately, we were able set up an appointment with a social worker to go over the registration application process for the following day.

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Visiting the New Location


After our meeting with the Department of Social Development (DSD), Ms. May drove us to the potential location for Kiddies College Preschool too. She was excited for our team to explore the location in Plumstead. We were ready to venture into the house with the registration packet guidelines in one hand and a measuring tape in another. There was a woman that was on site, Rita. She allowed us onto the premises to begin the visit.

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Getting the Word Out There


After May heard back from Daniel, our group found out that the other offer to buy the Plumstead property had not been accepted by the owner. Ms. May took this good news in stride and decided that our next step would be getting an idea of the need for a preschool in the area. With 180 copies of the flyers, we hopped into the car and headed to Plumstead. Our hope was to get an idea of how many students in the area are in need of a preschool and possibly write up a profit projection to present to the property owner in order to prove that renting his facility to Kiddies is in his best interest.

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