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Early learning crucial to cementing children’s rights<span>​<figure class="figure-credits left"><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/Early%20learning%20crucial%20to%20cementing%20children%E2%80%99s%20rights.%202.jpg" style="width:662px;" /><figcaption> <p>© City of Cape Town</p> </figcaption> </figure> The City of Cape Town's Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate has dedicated nearly R15 million to its Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme in this financial year.<p>The Programme includes a near R12,5 million capital budget for the construction of new ECD centres that will be available for leasing to private operators, as well as R2,7 million in operational expenditure focusing on ECD resourcing and training for staff.​</p></span><p>The City of Cape Town's Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate has dedicated nearly R15 million to its Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme in this financial year.</p><span><p>The Programme includes a near R12,5 million capital budget for the construction of new ECD centres that will be available for leasing to private operators, as well as R2,7 million in operational expenditure focusing on ECD resourcing and training for staff. </p><p>Cape Town has approximately 3 000 ECD centres. Of these, just under one-quarter are registered facilities that comply with the provisions set out in the Children's Act. The City works closely with the Western Cape Government Department of Social Development to assist ECDs with compliance issues so that they may become registered. One of the biggest challenges continues to be a lack of compliance with building regulations.</p><p>'We hold annual registration drives where we educate and inform ECD owners about the need to become registered as well as what they need to do to become compliant. The criteria is not set by the City, but is contained in the Children's Act which is designed to promote the rights of children. This is very topical, given that we are observing National Children's Day today. This day presents an opportunity to highlight the progress we have made in advancing the rights of children, but also the obstacles that remain. Access to quality early learning is crucial to giving a child a solid foundation, which is why we devote so much time, money and effort to the issue,' said the City's Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development, Councillor Suzette Little.</p><p>In recent years, the City has invested in the construction of a number of facilities in areas of greatest need, as identified in a study by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in 2009. The biggest project for the current financial year is the construction of the Delft ECD. Other projects completed in recent years include ECDs in Masiphumelele and Fisantekraal in conjunction with private partners, as well as the Nantes ECD in Athlone and the Strandfontein ECD. </p><span><blockquote cite="https://wwww.cite.co.za"><p> <em>​​​​"Unfortunately the pace of construction is unable to match the pressing need in many of our communities. ECD operators are trying to fill the gap, but many of them aren't able to meet the criteria for registration, so our job is far from over. Apart from ensuring that their buildings and facilities are up to code and that health and safety considerations are met, we also have to make sure that the quality of learning to which children are exposed is beneficial. So we continue with our education, awareness and training initiatives"</em>​ <b>Suzette Little​</b><cite>City Mayoral Committee Member: Social Development and Early Childhood Development</cite></p></blockquote></span><span><figure class="figure-credits right"><br><img class="responsive" alt="placeholder" src="https://resource.capetown.gov.za/cityassets/Media%20Centre/Early%20learning%20crucial%20to%20cementing%20children%E2%80%99s%20rights.3.jpg" style="margin:15px 0px;width:445px;height:356px;" /><figcaption><p>© City of Cape Town​</p></figcaption></figure></span></span>Apart from working with private partners in the provision of ECD facilities, the City also has relationships with non-governmental organisations. Earlier this year, RAPCAN conducted a series of workshops on the City's behalf, aimed at <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/media-and-news/Child%20rights%20take%20centre%20stage%20at%20City%27s%20ECD%20workshop">promoting children's rights</a>. <div> </div><div>'Social development is crucial in the South African context, but our ECD Programme is of particular importance because research has shown that a child who starts with that solid early learning foundation today is less likely to require other social interventions tomorrow,' said Councillor Little.</div><div><span><span><p><br> </p>​​</span></span><strong>End</strong><span><span><br></span><br></span></div>2016-11-04T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#787412c9-cc00-48ab-8dee-6bbc99d8aa52;L0|#0787412c9-cc00-48ab-8dee-6bbc99d8aa52|Social development and early childhood development;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#7e5408b6-62e7-431a-9518-a7be0d2a7677;L0|#07e5408b6-62e7-431a-9518-a7be0d2a7677|Suzette Little;GPP|#2cd804ad-df68-4cd4-b205-908fc15ea117;GP0|#fac4f1d5-e9ae-4fa1-8aab-b81d65e72a6b;L0|#0fac4f1d5-e9ae-4fa1-8aab-b81d65e72a6b|ECD centre1

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