The City of Cape Town today took ownership of an early childhood development centre in Masiphumelele, built by the Newlands Rotary Club.
The Rainbow ECD Centre is one of two that have been built by private donors in Masiphumelele – at a total cost of R6 million. The first was constructed by the Masiphumelele Corporation (Masicorp) at a cost of R2 million and is already operational, catering to the development needs of 100 children.The new R4 million Rainbow ECD Centre is big enough to accommodate 160 children and has a number of eco-friendly features, including a solar heating system and the capacity to harvest rainwater.
‘We are very thankful to the private donors who have come forward to help make a meaningful difference in the lives of Masiphumelele residents. The City doesn’t have the resources to build such facilities at a quick enough pace to meet the very great need that exists in so many communities, so we welcome such public-private partnerships because they help to ensure that the job is done sooner,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development, Councillor Suzette Little.
In 2015, the City took ownership of another privately constructed ECD centre in Fisantekraal. The three facilities have boosted the number of City-owned ECD centres across the city to 30 – all of which are leased to private ECD operators.
‘We are making good progress with our ECD provision plan, but we’re nowhere near reaching our target of ensuring that every child has access to a quality ECD facility. When we’re not building ECD centres, we’re helping private operators meet the criteria that will enable them to become registered and access subsidies if they qualify. We are training ECD staff to manage their businesses well and we are also training them in effective child care and cognitive development. It’s a tall order, but if we continue building partnerships with business and civil society, we will ultimately reach our goals,’ added Councillor Little.