ECD owners pray for a brighter future

The youth of Ithemba Labantu entertained the crowds.

Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in the informal settlements are finding it difficult to navigate the red tape involved in getting the facilities registered or qualifying for funding from the Department of Social Development.

Among the difficulties that they face is that they often do not have the space required to expand their facilities or accommodate the growing need for the service they provide.

These were some of the issues raised by creche owners at a prayer meeting hosted by the Khayelitsha Early Childhood Development Forum at the Thusong Centre in Khayelitsha last week.

About 15 centres, affiliated to the Khayelitsha ECD Forum, met to pray and give advice to each other about their challenges.

Religious leaders representing different faiths prayed for the growth and development of the ECD centres in Khayelitsha on the day.

Prayer organiser Lilitha Qubela said they decided to gather to invite the Almighty to guide and help them to get through the year’s challenges.

“These prayers gave us strength to go forward. As ECDs we are faced with many challenges. Registration of our creches is a challenge and (there are) many other challenges.

“When we meet like this we sing and praise the lord with the hope that we will succeed. But we always triumph over our circumstances,” she said.

The challenge was also reiterated by Andiswa Rasi who emphasised how difficult it was for people operating ECD centres in informal settlements to get funding from the government.

“Many informal creches find it difficult to meet the registration requirements but the good thing about us, is that we stepped up to help meet our needs. It is prayers like this that give us strength. It is here that year in year out we meet to ask God to show us the way. This prayer play a pivotal role in our being,” she said.

She said some of the challenges include poor infrastructure and facilities. Ms Rasi is, however, adamant that things will change.

“The truth is that we are not perturbed by all this. We have you and other graduates that come here. These ECDs have produced teachers, lawyers, doctors and nurses. It is a pity that we are not given credit but are instead criticised and not funded,” she said.

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