TURFFONTEIN’s daycare committee leaders are fed up with the quality of education that is provided by the unregistered daycare centres around the area. The leaders, who did not want their names mentioned, have been in business for more than 20 years now and they agree that the problem they are facing is the poor education provided by unregistered daycare centres.
“Children are made to play the whole day and to sleep afterwards but when they reach school level they can’t cope because the necessary basics were not instilled. We know this because many parents come to us complaining,” they said.
What unsettles them most is that children are taught in vernacular languages instead of English as instructed by Gauteng Department of Education (GDE). Schools around the area teach English as the home language that poses a threat to a child’s education if they have no English background.
“We do have a forum were daycare centres come together to table matters like these but it doesn’t help in situations of this nature. Most of the unregistered daycare centres are owned by foreigners who are illegal citizens of South Africa and they hire unqualified educators. Town planning department advises daycare centres to have open space for playground so children can play but these centres don’t have that. What puzzled me the most was an educator from another daycare, who came to me seeking a job without a matric or any other qualification. How does she teach without any qualification?” said one leader.
They also believe that unregistered daycare centres did not apply for zoning or consent from local government as well as not having permits for health, fire and social development of which the most important acceptability permit from the health department.
“A social worker from Region Nine told us that they are not allowed to close unregistered daycare centres down but they must help them to register. What kills us the most is that they charge low fees and parents run to them because of their rate and parents should realise that they are putting their children in wrong places where the is limited food and poor education,” said one leader.
“The unregistered centres should be registered and hire qualified educators,” leaders told the COURIER.
The COURIER took the liberty to visit some of these alleged unregistered daycare centres and arrived at one during lunch. The children were eating samp and beetroot for lunch and children were eating with their hands. When one of the teachers was asked about the daycare’s menu she said they give children what they are told to give them.
“There are no prescribed menus for day centres to adhere to, but we as the environment of health look at the safety of learners in the daycare centres. We also identify environmental hazards if the daycare does not meet the required standard of safety for learners. We are not permitted to shut them down but offer training and solutions to reduce health risks,” said Peter Manganye director of environmental health for City of Johannesburg.
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