Children must be put first in society to ensure optimal early childhood development, and South African law provides for this. Through the Children’s Act 38 of 2010 (as amended by Act 41 of 2007), which came into operation on 1 April 2010, policies, laws and interventions are advocated to create improved conditions and circumstances so that children are valued, protected, their rights are realised and they can reach their full potential. It can however be difficult to interpret the law, which is why the Children’s Institute of the University of Cape Town developed a guide focusing specifically on the sections useful for drop-in centres where conditions and circumstances should be regulated in accordance to the law.
This easy-to-read guide, full of helpful case studies, advises drop-in centre mangers on questions such as:
- How is drop-in centres defined in the Children’s Act?
- What programmes can a drop-in centre run?
- How is drop-in centres registered?
- What staff and staff-training are required for drop-in centres?
- What services are required for children with disabilities and chronic illness?
Importantly, the norms and standards for drop-in centres and early intervention programmes are clearly stated and illustrated so that centres understand exactly what needs to be in place for them to be met. The guide concludes by providing copies of the required forms in terms of the Children’s Act, some covering the registration of a drop-in centre and other relating to reporting requirements, and explains exactly how and when these forms should be used.
Please promote the use of this helpful tool by drop-in centres and other early intervention programmes: No child should miss out on opportunities to become who they should be. You can download this guide here.