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Closed Safe and Sustainable Early Childhood Care

Cape Town, South Africa

Closed Safe and Sustainable Early Childhood Care

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Enables severely under-resourced township crèches to become quality childcare centres able to adequately provide for the education, safety, health and development of over 1300 children at 15 partner centres.

K. McIntosh from South African Education and Environment ProjectWrite a message

SAEP's Early Childhood Development Programme works to improve the overall well-being of pre-school children living in Cape Town's poorest communities by assisting in the development of locally managed non-profit pre-schools and enabling them to provide quality child care and education services.

DID YOU KNOW: In the communities served by SAEP, with a population of approximately half a million, nearly 94% of children are not receiving any pre-school education. Most children do not receive adequate medical and nutritional care, or access to a safe, healthy space for learning and development. Strong early childhood development institutions are key to breaking this cycle by providing children with a healthy, nourishing environment in which to grow and learn.


1. Provide for the children’s basic needs through physical improvements of centres, ensuring there is adequate space, proper sanitation and protection from the natural elements, in addition to the provision of nutritious daily meals of e-pap (a nutritionally fortified porridge). Donations of toys, educational equipment and materials are also sought and distributed.

2. Enable the empowerment and capacity building of centre staff to allow the centres to reach a level of self-sustainability. This includes:
a) Assistance in NPO registration and registration with Department of Social Services and Education
b) Training to all staff in Grade R education, early childhood development, First Aid, HIV/AIDS, financial management, and fundraising

SAEP’s program has been highly successful. All original partner pre-schools are now registered ECD centers and receiving a state per-child subsidy. SAEP has also improved the quality of care and physical environments of 17 pre-schools and assisted in the complete rebuilding of four centres.

Presently, SAEP is working with 10 centres, all at various stages of development, serving over 1,000 children each year.

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