Community members, families and children gathered to celebrate the official hand-over of the recently refurbished Mickey’s Kids Day Care Centre, in Kimberley. The upgrades included a new perimeter fence and a wholly upgraded building that is modern and better equipped to provide quality services to the young children of the community. In addition to this the centre has received the appropriate education material and outdoor equipment that compliments early childhood development (ECD) learning; its teachers, principal and the governing body will receive skills enhancement training, all of which form part of Droogfontein Solar Power’s social development programme.
“Investment in the development, care and protection of children’s needs, is a priority, as it is our vision to ensure that ECD centres move from being day care facilities to centres of education and development that are sustainable and can offer the best care possible,” explained Mark Pickering, General Manager for Droogfontein Solar Power and De Aar Solar Power.
The Sol Plaatjie Municipality supplied the building that is being utilised by Mickeys Kids Day Care Centre and generously supported the upgrade.
This ECD centre is one of fifteen local ECD establishments supported by Droogfontein Solar Power. The refurbishment programme will roll-out over a period of 3 years and take place alongside the Solar Farm’s commitment to provide teacher bursary programmes, skills training for improved education centre management, and teacher mentorship programmes.
Droogfontein Solar Power’s commitment to funding Early Childhood Development Programmes is part of a partnership with the Department of Education which includes the funding of 20 Early Childhood Development practitioners from Riverton, Ritchie, Barkly West and Kimberley to upgrade their skills through North West University. It also includes management and mentorship support for the 15 ECD Centre Managers including Mickey’s, the renovation and refurbishment of at least two crèches per annum. “We invested R1.5million across 4 programmes during 2016 which includes the upgrades to Mickeys Kids Day Care Centre and Bokamosa Creche. Our support extended to improving curriculums and capacity building of its teachers, principals, and governing body members. This education programme aims to improve the early learning opportunities for some 800 children,” added Pickering.
Practitioners from the fifteen ECD Centres commenced training during May 2015 to improve their skills. On completion of these 3-year bursary programmes, the practitioners will have the requisite NQF level 6 qualification. Training topics such as play-based learning and children’s rights; child development; different kinds of play and their role in language, science and numeracy; as well as language and literacy development, were covered amongst other subject matters.
“We provide all our beneficiary ECD centres with educational resources as well as the critical skills and training to ensure that the resources are used effectively,” concluded Green-Thompson.
The participating Early Childhood Development Centres supported by Droogfontein Solar Power include communities in Kimberley, Barkly West, Ritchie and Riverton; these include: Goitlamela ECD, Hulahoop Preschool, Mateleng ECD, Holpan Day Care Centre, Waterworks Primary School, Galeshewe Educare Centre, St Boniface Preschool, El Shaddai ECD, Shalom Day Care Centre, Kagiso Day Care for Disabled Children, Redirile Creche, Roodepan ECD, Sivuyile ECD Centre, Lesedi Day Care Centre, Helen Joseph Primary.