Inkanyezi ECD Centre in Amaoti, Ethekwini municipality, will be undergoing renovations as part of the Strategic ECD Infrastructure Support (SEIS) Programme. This programme allocates limited infrastructure resources to upgrade ECD centres with high potential in the most cost effective way. The end goal is to improve ECD centres’ infrastructure so they can obtain Partial Care Registration and the opportunity to access the ECD subsidy. The programme is currently being tested in KwaZulu-Natal through a collaboration between Ilifa Labantwana, the KZN Department of Social Development, six local municipalities, Project Preparation Trust and Assupol Community Trust.
The Inkanyezi ECD Centre is attended by 55 children and the disrepair of the building is making their daily routine very uncomfortable. A termite infestation in the building has damaged the structural integrity of the doors, windows and roofing, posing a safety risk. One of the doors is hanging off its hinges, several windows’ glass panes are broken and a number of others cannot open. This has seriously affected the building’s ventilation to the point where the children and staff cannot stay inside on hot days. One side of the veranda roof was blown off in a storm, and children are quite literally exposed to the elements during the rainy season.
The building does have four existing toilets but they are not connected to a septic tank or sewerage system. It costs a quite a bit of money to have a truck collect the sewerage and move it to a sanitation facility. The centre will either be receiving a new septic tank where the sewerage can flow to or its toilets will be connected to a nearby sewerage system.
All of these issues have resulted in the Inkanyezi ECD Centre being denied Partial Care Registration.
“These upgrades will help my centre meet the requirements advised by the DSD,” says centre owner Thuthu Mhlungu. Partial Care Registration will also be a step towards Inkanyezi accessing the ECD subsidy on behalf of the children who are currently enrolled there and being able to improve the quality of their early learning service in the long term.