COMMUNITY MEMBERS GATHER AS EARLY CHILDHOOD FACILITY RELAUNCHES IN BEDFORD
6 March 2020: Bedford, Eastern Cape
Collie Koeberg Day Care Centre in Bedford, was the place of celebrations, following the launch of the newly built Day Care Centre undertaken as part of Cookhouse Wind Farm’s ECD Infrastructure Support Programme.
Members of this small Eastern Cape community, parents and local officials gathered to mark the relaunch of this community ECD Centre, which now has 2 classrooms, with ablutions, additional office space and a kitchen. The kitchen is fitted out with all the essentials to prepare nutritious meals for the 40 learners that are cared for each day, whilst play time will certainly be more fun thanks to the newly installed jungle gym.
“Finally we have our own ECD Centre where we can give young learners a good education and provide them with a healthy meal each day,” said Luna Trollip, Principal of Collie Koeberg Day Care Centre.
In addition to this, the building has been equipped with new child-friendly furniture and equipment as well as other teaching resources that will help make learning engaging.
“Our flagship Early Childhood Development Infrastructure Programme’s overall objective is to create suitable facilities and spaces that support the development of young children and allows for equitable access to quality and comprehensive early childhood development services, for communities within Somerset East, Cookhouse, Bedford and Adelaide,” explained Elton Gordon, Community Operations Manager for Cookhouse Wind Farm.
The partnership between Private Sector and Government is vital to drive development in South Africa, and particularly the Eastern Cape Province, which requires funding that exceeds the current available budget, to respond to ECD infrastructure needs in this rural Province.
“Public Private Partnerships are of vital importance to unlock challenges in order to prepare young children for formal schooling and thereby level the playing fields,” explained Elton Gordon, Community Operations Manager for Cookhouse Wind Farm.
The programme launched in July 2019, to commemorate Madiba Day. This followed a detailed Infrastructure Needs Assessment completed across 28 ECD Centres located in the four beneficiary towns.
In order to encourage inclusivity and local buy-in, Cookhouse Windfarm established a Multi-Stakeholder Committee within each of the two Local Municipalities comprising of municipal representatives, Department of Social Development and elected ECD Centre representatives to spearhead the identification of beneficiary Centres and monitor the report-back on progress of work together with the Cookhouse Local Community Office team.
Collie Koeberg is amongst the first centres to benefit, with Mini Marvels Day Care Centre in Somerset East relaunching last year already. With this infrastructure support, both centres are now compliant with the Norms and Standards set by the Department of Social Development.
Prior to the commencement of the infrastructure work at prioritised ECD centres, a commitment agreement with the Centre management is entered into, to make provision for the ongoing maintenance of the ECD annually is undertaken. This is one of the conditions outlined by Cookhouse Wind Farm, as part of the ECD Infrastructure Support Programme so that facilities are sustained.