Municipal partnership will ensure improved ECD services

EARLY childhood development (ECD) centres in eThekwini are set for an upgrade to the tune of millions of Rands over the next two years.

Head of Human Settlements, Beryl Mphakathi, will coordinate this project for informal settlements and under serviced communities, as per the tabling of a report at a full council meeting on 1 August.

Over 1 100 children from 14 identified ECD centres will benefit from the initiative to structurally improve these centres in the City.

The report outlines the use of funding of R2 million from the Integrated Cities Development Grant (ICDG) in the project, with R1.6 million for infrastructural improvements at 14 selected ECD centres at pilot sites at Amaoti and uMlazi, benefiting 1 172 children. R400 000 has been allocated for an ECD survey and infrastructure planning in priority informal settlements.

Authority was also granted to use further funding of R3 million from the ICDG for the 2017/18 financial year, and R4 million for 2018/19 for further structural improvements at informal settlement ECD centres. The report grants authority to Mphakathi, to coordinate the ECD infrastructure support projects for informal settlements, working closely with City units including Health, Engineering Services, Safer Cities and the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development.

Head of Safer Cities, Martin Xaba, will facilitate engagement with the Department of Social Development and non-governmental organisations to improve access to ECD services for vulnerable children to help with crime prevention by reducing the exposure of young children to harmful influences and the development of dysfunctional behavioural patterns.

Environmental health practitioners from the City’s Health Department will perform the usual environment health functions including inspecting centres as part of their duties.

Lauren Walford

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