Why it Matters
“The first 1,000 days of a child’s life should never be compromised, it is the most important period in a child’s development … and it determines the outcome of an adult.”
Dr David Harris
Lack of Resources
The Western Cape has 500,000 children under the age of 5 years, and only 3,000 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres to support their early development needs.
The majority of the ECD centres located within informal settlements operate as home based day-care facilities, primarily providing a safe environment for the children of working mothers. They lack the resources and expertise to deliver quality early education, and do not qualify to receive government subsidies.
Likewise, previously registered ECD centres that no longer meet the newly imposed building compliance regulations, also lack the resources to upgrade their facilities and subsequently fail to qualify for government subsidies.
There are approximate 2,100 centres like these.
Our EDC projects
The Rotary Club of Claremont has a particular interest in early childhood development projects. Our INJONGO project focused on providing the communities of Philippi and Masiphumelele with fully functioning Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres, to ensure a high quality of educational support for young children.
We enabled these centres to achieve and maintain registration for government subsidies, by upgrading the facilities and bringing them in line with the required regulations. The project boasted many holistic interventions such as extensive teacher training, upgrading of existing facilities, and daily mentoring for quality assurance.
To date, and with significant financial support from corporate sponsors like Lewis Group, Southey Contracting, NGO Breadline, and other Rotary Clubs, we have upgraded over 60 centres – with a total investment in excess of R18 million.
The Department of Social Development has recognized the INJONGO project as an ECD Model of Excellence, having completed the total upgrade of 14 facilities in the first 5 years of the project. During that time we have uplifted the lives of approximately 3,000 children per year.
The Club continues to focus on ECD centres in our community, having fully upgraded 2 centres in Ocean View and Masiphumelele during 2022.