October 2021.

Mickey’s Daycare Centre in Riverton, Kimberley, plays an important role as it is the only Early Childhood Development (ECD) facility providing educational and development support for children between the ages of 3 and 6 years in this community. Following a recommendation by the Department of Social Development, this ECD centre has been upgraded and has doubled its capacity, welcoming many more children from the community of Riverton.

The additional infrastructure facilities have added an extra two classrooms, which means that a further 30-40 children from this outlying community will have access to education. This ECD centre will now also meet the necessary Health & Safety Regulations, due to the increased allocation of children, as an additional four toilets are being installed.

Vanessa Setlhabi, Principal of Mickey’s Daycare Centre, said, “Since the opening of the crèche, in 2016, we have been able to provide local employment, which is much needed in our local community. We believe that our children’s access to early childhood development is the best way of introducing them to a learning environment and preparing them for school”.

This refurbishment and expansion programme is funded by Droogfontein Solar Power’s Socio Economic Development programme, which has incorporated Mickey’s Daycare Centre, as a beneficiary, since 2016. This ECD centre has previously received regular groceries and a stipend for a period of 6 months, as well as a fully equipped playground, in addition to classroom furniture and educational resources.

This latest support includes the addition of two container classrooms, further educational materials and furniture for the classrooms, as well as the extra ablution facilities.

“One of our primary development objectives is to support equal access to quality education for children from 3 to 6 years and 7 to 18 years, which is why a comprehensive assessment of all ECD centres, within a 50km radius of our plant, comprising our beneficiary communities, has been undertaken. This assessment will guide and support our initiatives, ensuring that we can effectively support ECD development,” explained Zuki Ndlela, Economic Development Specialist for Droogfontein Solar Power.