ECD Centres in Need! 12

It was heartbreaking to see the picture in the Sunday Times, 21 November 2010:
Thirteen pre-schoolers sleeping on four small matrasses! This photo was taken at an Early Childhood Development
site at a Cape Town- based NGO.

I read the article and for the first time read about the VODACOM CHANGE THE WORLD programme. The day care centre where the photo was taken is one of the organisations around the country that was selected as part of the project. “Ten professionals will be chosen to volunteer with one of the charities for 6 months, starting in April next year – and get paid for it.” (Sunday Times, 22 Nov page 8). Vodacom places the volunteer at no cost to the NGO to boost it organisational capacity.

We are involved in the training of people working at ECD sites and the need for trained staff and better equipped centres is tremendous. The people working at many of these sites are not qualified and often can’t afford to study. They also can’t afford to buy the necessary equipment to upgrade their centres. At most of these centres there are definitely not a lack of love and security!

(Photo scanned from the Sunday Times, 21 November 2010, page 8. Picture: Shelley Christians)

Refer to the website for more information about the project that Vodacom is running:

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12 thoughts on “ECD Centres in Need!

  • Sylvia F. Hammond

    Prem Bachan has sent me this very relevant article – please see attached file.  I’m having difficulties loading so you might need to print to read.  Very worth the effort though.

  • Wilma de Villiers Post author

    Johannes, I am glad that there are people like you that are also so passionate about ECD.

    Won’t this company consider giving money to FET Colleges or a specific Education Department, e.g Western Education Department or the minister of Education of the Western Cape?  Our local government, even more the education department, is quite willing to assist. 


  • Hannes Nel

    ECD and Youth Development are the most critical skills needs of our country. In March this year I made a stop-over in Switzerland on my way back from Berlin to try to raise funds to design and develop learning programmes in ECD and Youth Development which Mentornet would then provide to other training providers for free. There are six such registered qualifications. The Swiss (they have a section of the Department of Foreign Affairs who deal with such projects) politely told me that they cannot give money to a private provider, but would consider giving the money to South Africa if the relevant Minister would visit them. They alreayd already sent him an invitation when I initiated the drive by email. Somehow I don’t think the Minister will vist and even if he does, where will the money go? 

  • Sylvia F. Hammond

    I remember reading somewhere that we will be receiving a large sum of money from the European Union that will be going towards ECD.  I imagine that it will be for infrastructure and training.  Salaries will form part of the future running costs.  It seems very likely that if we’re upgrading ECD by training qualified teachers, then we must increase the budget.  That must fall under the Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.  Does anyone have the budget figures on what has been included for ECD?  And how does that compare with what was budgetted last financial year?  And was it all spent?

  • Wilma de Villiers Post author

    A new group of students started this week (Level 5 Higher Certificate in ECD).  As training provider we inform our students about career possibilities and their career path when they enroll.

    The students were shocked to hear what the majority of people are earning, people that are employed at ECD sites.  In most cases the ECD sites are in poor or previously disadvantaged communities … the finances are not available to pay the staff higher salaries.


    Government/ Education keep on writing/ complaining about the low literacy and numeracy levels, but then there is no funding available to pay reception year teachers.  I am sure that they know that a good foundation is necessary. 

  • Sylvia F. Hammond

    Johannes, you are definitely right.  I believe that there is research into the failure of university students which identifies the lack of ECD as a common factor for those who don’t make it.

  • Bronwyn Newman

    Good Day,

    Thank you highlighting this topic that is so crucial.

    I have also ‘liked’ it to my Facebook page and twitter.

    This has really grabbed my attention.

    A follow up on the progress of this story would be great.




  • Sylvia F. Hammond

    Hi Wilma

    My apologies that it has taken us so long to respond to this very urgent and dire need.  I will ask Alan to highlight this to everyone on Monday – I’ve also featured the Blog and your photo, to attract more attention.

    I’ve also tweeted it to my Twitter page as well.

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