Scene 2: 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.

Cast of characters:

Ms. May – our liaison, owner of Kiddies College Preschool

Mbala – the Social Worker who met with our team and Ms. May

Kiddies College Preschool too – The new business that Ms. May will be opening in Plumstead with the help of our team

ECD Team – Nick Deraney, Katelyn Nicosia, Julie Waddell and Mindy Zhang


Ms. May drove us to the Department of Social Development in Wynberg. A gated fence greeted us along with the South African flag waving above the building. Upon entrance, we were welcomed and asked to wait for our social worker in what appeared to be a hospital-like waiting room. Within ten minutes the social worker, Mbala, was prepared to meet us. As we walked toward the conference room a number of pictures of government officials hung on the walls. Finally, we arrived in a small conference room with one round table and a number of chairs for each of us. As we sat down together our meeting began.



Forming this connection with the DSD of Wynberg was important for this project. We needed to find out what steps we need to take to register the new Early Childhood Development centre and to be sure the new location will meet regulations.


Our group and Ms. May planned to receive and discuss the registration packet from the DSD social worker. We had open ears and pens ready to be sure that we wouldn’t miss any important information discussed on these topics. Going into the meeting, we hoped that the social worker would be assigned to our case and accompany us to the new location to potentially approve it immediately.

Action and Observation:

After introductions were made, Mbala started off the discussion by asking what our purpose was for this appointment. Ms. May stated from her previous experience that for the process to actually begin we needed to start with the approval of the DSD. Mbala clarified that was not the case for the Wynberg district. For the registration process to begin here, the potential location would need to be inspected by the Fire, Health and Land Use departments before the DSD would begin reviewing our registration application. According to Mbala, Land Use is the first department to seek out as the Fire and Health Department inspections depend on the results of this inspection. The steps we must take before the registration process can begin were clearly laid out, which will be discussed further in the guidebook to open a crèche to come. Without these inspections, our paper application for registration will not be considered by the DSD. Unfortunately, Mbala was unable to join us to look at the potential new location for Kiddies College Preschool too. However, when we left the meeting our knowledge about the registration process of a crèche was much deeper.

scene 2 pic 1


Reflection and Learning:

Although Ms. May has registered her current crèche in Observatory within the past year, it turns out that each district completes the registration process a bit differently. It was unfortunate that the DSD social worker was unable to join us to visit the potential building that same day. However, through this meeting our group determined who the appropriate contacts were to have the building inspected from the Fire, Health and Land Use departments of the Wynberg district. With Ms. May wanting to open the fully functional crèche by January 2014, these processes and inspections will need to occur as soon as possible. From our perspective after realizing all these inspections need to occur, this time frame to get Kiddies College Preschool too up and running may be unrealistic with all of the inspections and other work that needs to be done. Ms. May’s excitement and passion for this project is what is making her want to start the school right away. We hope to complete this process by this time and plan to attack this process with our best foot forward.