Scene 1: From the Outside…

…Looking In




After a hectic week of crèche design complications, the team had plans with Eric and Sarah Atmore to visit a few crèches in the area to gain perspective that could be applied to Flamingo Crescent. With the design still in shambles, a meeting was planned for Tuesday at 2:30pm at the CECD to finalize the plans…again.

Cast of Characters

The WPI Flamingo Team –  Jacquelyne, Malina, Andres, Justin, Kristin

Community Member –Elizabeth

Advisors – Scott and Steve

CECD – Eric Atmore, Sarah Atmore

Crèche Consultant – Olwethu Jack

ISN – Melanie, Terrence



Centre of Early Childhood Development

Crèches in Philippi Informal Settlement


Cape Town was filled with clouds and rain again this morning as we strolled into the CECD for our morning meeting with Eric Atmore. A few of us discussed potential donors and strategies with Eric. He provided us with organizations, key contacts, and phone numbers to reach out to. Sarah Atmore then took the five of us to see different crèches around the informal settlement of Philippi. We pulled up to the first crèche, Kamva Educare, and saw three adult sized toilets and two small buckets that were being used as kiddie toilets. We could hear small children screaming and yelling from inside of what looked to be a garage door. We followed Sarah inside where the walls were painted with bright oranges and yellows and the children were all sitting at tables eating a snack. We were greeted with warm “HI’s”, “hellos” and waving hands from each and every child. We checked out the kitchen space, talked to the cook and teachers, and looked at the baby space. We counted around 40 children ages 0-6 years old. As the first crèche we’d ever seen, we were so surprised at the great use of space and the resources each space had acquired. We learned after that Kamva Educare is not registered, but there is a small fee of around 50-100Rand per month to attend. However, Sarah told us that most likely only about 50% of parents actually pay this amount.


Kamva Educare Toilets and Kitchen Area

We then travelled around Philippi to the next crèche, Nkosi Educare Centre. We pulled up and saw a colorful wooden playground with tire swings. We entered the gated area and found that one of the tire swings was actually torn down and there was a carpet over the sand that could potentially be very unsanitary. Sarah led us through the entryway and into the classroom where there were around 20 students broken up into two rooms based on age groups, older kids and younger kids. The kitchen was upgraded and had all of the necessities. The crèche was attached to a house and the toilet was next to the shack. We went back around the front of the crèche and saw their vegetable garden and also saw  all of the murals that had been painted on the front walls.


Outside View of the Nkosi Educare Center Building


The third crèche we visited was called Ikamva Lethu Educare Pre School. It was unbelievable to say the least, with 200 student’s ranging from ages 0-6 years old. They had two playgrounds with tires swings, wooden play structures, a slide, and a sandpit. Ikamva Lethu Educare even had its own vegetable garden and this was only the outside. Once we stepped inside it was like a whole new world. There were tiles on the floor and tables, chairs, and even a kid sized computer. It was bright, cheery, and organized. The kitchen was in excellent condition with daily meal plans. Each age group had different daily routines compatible to their skill sets and learning abilities.


Ikamva Lethu Educare Pre School Classroom Areas

The fourth and final crèche we visited today was Sunrise Educare Center. It was similar to the second crèche we saw in regards to space and set up. There were two rooms again separated by age group with small tables and chairs along with one toilet for everyone to use in the main room. The kitchen was in poor shape with dirty utilities and slanted cabinets, floors, and walls. This crèche also had a separate space that the CECD had constructed with insolated walls and zinc cladding on the outside, similar to Flamingo’s current shacks (see second picture below). This last crèche space really sparked our interest due to its similarities to what we are trying to implement in Flamingo Crescent. Visiting these different crèches have helped us see our plans and designs in reality.


Sunrise Educare Center Classroom and Kitchen


The Sunrise Additional Space


Going to different crèches gave us great insight and ideas to apply to Flamingo Crescent. The staff’s morale at these crèches was impressive and very inspiring. Teachers and principals were truly devoted to take care of children. All the children were very happy, which we attribute to the attention they receive. Currently, most children in Flamingo Crescent are unattended and get almost no attention from adults. Seeing all these crèches and their impact on children was very motivating for our project.