There was excellent news for Siyakhanya Educare Center this month when the pre-school received confirmation of their registration with the Department of Social Development (DSD). Like many pre-schools in Masiphumelele, and other poor communities, Siyakhanya began as an informal crèche run by well-meaning members of the community. Over time Masicorp has provided assistance with the pre-school by providing kitchen facilities and improving the building facilities on site. Providing safer, more hygienic structures to create loving and nurturing environments for the children and their adult support network is important, but is not the only step in becoming compliant with the DSD.
There is a need to show that the building meets local by-laws, particularly in areas such as fire safety. Additionally the supervision of the children must be undertaken by qualified staff, which requires the upskilling of the principal and their assistants. We are grateful for the support of the Unlimited Child who have assisted us by providing this training to the staff of Siyakhanya, and other pre-schools in the community.
Seen here is Fikiswa, whose niece is set to become the principal of the pre-school after undertaking a Level 4 National Certificate in ECD at the Center for Creative Education. Although building construction work is often the most visible and obvious improvement that NGO’s can make to pre-schools in communities such as Masiphumelele, the help that can be provided toward professional training is every bit as important. Together with the physical improvements to the building made by Masicorp, the upskilling of the staff has allowed Siyakhanya to apply for DSD registration.
Registration is a long process that involves much paperwork and liaison with the local authorities but is something that Masicorp is committed to undertaking through the Seedlings programme. We were delighted to receive notice that Siyakhanya has recently met the requirements for registration. This will ensure that a monthly grant is received for each child that will be used to provide meals throughout the day and cover some of the running costs of the pre-school. This is a major step forward in ensuring the sustainability of the pre-school and will ensure an improved learning environment – the children can now rest comfortably at nap-time.