To: Thembeni Mhlongo
Tell Thembeni Mhlongo to build a public creche in Windsor West
We call on Thembeni Mhlongo to explain why the Department of Social Development isn't building public creches in Windsor West where there is a major need, and call on them to commit to looking into building a creche.
Why is this important?
It is unrealistic to expect that community members in poor and low income areas will be able to provide suitable crèche’s in line with the requirements of the Department. The particular requirements in infrastructure, safety regulations, health standards, teacher qualifications, and high standards of education and as well as capacitated organisations are an unrealistic expectation for these communities. This was echoed by the words of crèche principal, Georginah Hloka in a meeting held on the 29th of October 2019 with the Department of Social Development, Department of Health and the Department of Education in Tembisa Township . How can crèche owners then provide adequate toilets, proper infrastructure, provisions for disabled children, nutritious food, qualified teachers, physical safety features and adequate space for children if community members cannot even afford to pay a R1000?This then means that the whole idea of private crèche’s can never really work in poor and low income communities .
Research shows that the improvement of pre-school learning in the country came when grade R learners were incorporated into the public school system and became housed in primary schools . Grade R is however only for five year olds and six year olds. This means that, for poorer communities, provision of pre-school education by the public government is better than that of private providers. The same is not true for affluent neighbourhoods however. This is why we are calling for the Gauteng’s Head of the department of social development to rather build public crèche’s as private crèche’s are not sustainable in poorer areas.
What is moreover disturbing about the poor quality of pre-school education for black children is that the children who of the race group that needs the most support in order to reduce rates of inequality in the future as they are shaped by race and gender, are the children whose development is being stunted all the more. Research shows that poor nutrition, poor learning environment and low standards of teaching are the main cause of why children from poor backgrounds generally perform worse than children from upper and middle classes. The DSD MEC needs to stop this plight and push for decision making to rather build public crèche’s as opposed to trying to shift the responsibility of educating the poor to community members who are structurally unable to play this role.
 Township crèches must now register, says government: https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/south-africa/2019-10-29-township-crches-must-now-register-says-government/
 Raising South Africa: informal crèches are desperate for aid: https://www.groundup.org.za/article/raising-south-africa-informal-creches-are-desperate-aid/
 impact of the introduction of grade R on learning outcomes:
 Challenges of the Early Development Sector in South Africa by Michaela Ashley Cooper, Eric Atmore and Lauren Van Niekerk 2012. The Journal of Early Childhood Development Journal. The University of Johannesburg.