The DA’s fight to improve the lives of children in Ekurhuleni’s crèches became a greater reality with the passing of a motion in council that seeks to secure funding for Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres in informal settlements.
According to Tania Campbell, DA spokesperson for health and social development in Ekurhuleni, currently most crèches in informal settlements lack access to infrastructure that would allow them to comply with existing health regulations, thereby disqualifying them from attaining the health certificate required to run a crèche.
“Furthermore, due to inherited apartheid spatial planning, many crèches in informal settlements do not fall within the required commercial zoning classification required to allow them to receive grants from the Department of Health and Social Development,” Campbell said.
The DA’s motion seeks a concurrent policy be formulated to accommodate crèches in informal settlements with regard to the review of norms and standards within the Municipal Public Health by-laws to address the structural challenges faced by these crèches, as well as a review of existing zoning regulations to ensure that these crèches qualify for social grant funding.
The motion follows a previous urgent motion passed in November, last year, that saw council resolve to conduct a comprehensive audit in crèches within Ekurhuleni following a case of child abuse.
“The DA considers the health and safety of our children as one of the key priorities. The passing of the motion is testament to our commitment and resolve to ensure that crèches within Ekurhuleni are safe environments and conducive to quality early child development,” Campbell said.
She added that as far as she knows, the audit has started, with all the relevant departments involved.
“The MMC for health and social development, Dora Mlambo, promised to respond in March on their progress,” said Campbell.