Winds of hope as ECD centre relaunches in Bedford
11 March 2020 | Web Article Number: ME202018297
THE Collie Koeberg Day Care Centre in Bedford was the scene of celebrations recently, following the launch of a newly built facility undertaken as part of Cookhouse Wind Farm’s early childhood development (ECD) Infrastructure Support Programme.
Members of this small Eastern Cape community, parents and local officials gathered to mark the relaunch of the centre, which now has two classrooms, with ablutions, additional office space and a kitchen. The kitchen is fitted out with all the essentials to prepare nutritious meals for the 40 pupils who are cared for each day, whilst play time will certainly be more fun thanks to the newly installed jungle gym.
“Finally, we have our own ECD Centre where we can give young learners a good education and provide them with a healthy meal each day,” said Principal Luna Trollip.
In addition to this, the building has been equipped with new child-friendly furniture and equipment as well as other teaching resources that will help make learning engaging.
“Our flagship Early Childhood Development Infrastructure Programme’s overall objective is to create suitable facilities and spaces that support the development of young children and allows for equitable access to quality and comprehensive early childhood development services, for communities within Somerset East, Cookhouse, Bedford and Adelaide,” said Elton Gordon, Community Operations Manager for Cookhouse Wind Farm.
He added that the partnership between private sector and government was vital to drive development in South Africa, and particularly the Eastern Cape Province, which requires funding that exceeds the current available budget, to respond to ECD infrastructure needs in this rural province.
“Public Private Partnerships are of vital importance to unlock challenges in order to prepare young children for formal schooling and thereby level the playing fields,” Gordon said.
The programme launched in July 2019, to commemorate Mandela Day. This followed a detailed Infrastructure Needs Assessment completed across 28 ECD Centres located in the four beneficiary towns.
In order to encourage inclusivity and local buy-in, Cookhouse Windfarm established a Multi-Stakeholder Committee within each of the two local municipalities comprising municipal representatives, Department of Social Development and elected ECD centre representatives to spearhead the identification of beneficiary centres and monitor the report-back on progress of work together with the Cookhouse Local Community Office team.
Collie Koeberg is amongst the first centres to benefit, following last year’s relaunch of Mini Marvels Day Care Centre in Somerset East. With this infrastructure support, both centres are now compliant with the norms and standards set by the Department of Social Development.