There’s no “I” in Team


Babalwa is the social worker, with the Department of Social Development, who has been working with Cathy in preparation for Little Paradise’s Partial Care Facility Registration. This process has been at a standstill with little commitment to get the paperwork and policies done. Cathy has met with Babalwa previously to understand the specific steps they need to take. Mike, Kim, and Cathy met with Babalwa at the Social Development Office in Athlone to get an understanding of what needs to be done. Based on this meeting with Babawla, we were able to relay what needs to be done and assist the Governing Body as much as possible through the process of registration.

Cast of Characters:

WPI Flamingo Team- John, Kim, Mike, Maggie

Little Paradise Governing Body- Lenrika, Merelda, Elizabeth, Mark



In meeting with the Governing Body the following day, we were informed that Elizabeth will now be the secretary, Mark will be the vice chairperson, and Melanie will take on the role as an additional member. We had the four members of the Governing Body with us we created an email account,, and discussed the details of setting up a bank account. In discussing finances, we brainstormed income and expenses of the crèche. We deliberated current budgeting issues and set in place ideal numbers for which to aim when looking to make ends meet until the Little Paradise Educare Centre can acquire a more permanent government subsidy. In this case we looked at all the expenses that Little Paradise has every month including food for the children, salaries, electricity, etc. From looking at the total amount of monthly expenses, we were able to find an ideal number that parent fees should be to balance things out.theresnoiinteam

Parent fee payment was a controversial and disputed topic. We had previous knowledge from Cathy that some parents paid fees while others did not. From Merelda, as the treasurer, she explained how people pay what they can at the time to contribute something. Having Lenrika and Mark both as parents of children in the crèche and members of the Governing Body helped clarify the tension around paying fees. Lenrika has the money to pay fees and is equipped to do so, but she said she was holding back because she feels she shouldn’t have to pay if other parents aren’t paying. Mark talked about letters Cathy created to hand out to parents who are not paying fees, and how neither he nor Lenrika received them. They were frustrated that Cathy was singling people out and only talking to certain parents. They indicated that Cathy would hold parent meetings, and not let the Governing Body know about it. The dialogue revealed a common perception in the community: that Cathy thinks she owns the crèche and can use it whenever and however she wants.


As we talked some of these issues out, a few agreements were made. For all future Governing Body meetings, parents will be notified of when and where the meeting will take place, and the Governing Body will be present at all parent meetings. The Governing Body will discuss with parents at their next meeting on the ideal parent fee payment number so that everyone will be on the same page for the following school year on how much they owe a month. With this ideal number, everyone should be paying next year and this should lessen these tensions within the community.


Our afternoon with the governing body resulted in party planning, budget brainstorming, and enjoying one another’s company over lunch, music, and games. At the end of the day, there is still the lingering tension between the Governing Body and Cathy that needs to be addressed. Subtle hints like the Governing Body referring to Cathy as “the principal” instead of using her name, and their facial expressions when she came up in conversation showed the uneasy relationship they share. Our team is in an interesting position hearing both sides of how they feel about the situation. It seems as if Cathy is sick of dealing with the Governing Body not being active in helping her with making Little Paradise successful. On our first day Cathy prided over Little Paradise as “her baby” which can be understandable as to why she is frustrated when others aren’t taking care of it. The Governing Body members have their own struggles to work out in becoming an effective team and taking the initiative for themselves. There is definitely a right for parents to be frustrated in paying for their children to go to the crèche while others are not, however the parents on the Governing Body should be the voice in representing this frustration and push for a change. Cathy’s frustration of the community is directly related to her strong tie to the crèche.

If the Governing Body and Cathy can agree to put what happened in the past behind them, they could start with a fresh slate in building a trusting environment around the crèche. When it comes down to it, everyone always says “it’s all for the children.” Those words are going to need to be put into action when working together to make the crèche successful for those who will be most impacted by it. Since the Governing Body and Cathy share the common goal of doing what is best for the children, they can use this to drive them forward to making the crèche realise its full potential.theresnoiinteam3