The 4 crèches in the valley fulfil a vital role in ensuring that children get the necessary stimulation in their pre-school life to prepare them for formal learning at school. The crèche’s are privately owned businesses and at this time none of them receive any government funding. Funding is available for properly set up and governed crèches from the dept of Social Welfare.

In the past we have supported 2 Child Care Centres which were set up to provide refuge for orphans and vulnerable children. The centres were funded operationally by NOAH, a funder receiving significant support from the US government. Philangethemba donated the funding that paid for the salaries of the centre managers. This arrangement was unsatisfactory mainly because we had no official position to hold the managers to account for their performance. NOAH has since withdrawn it funding and the centres stand idle. The needs for support for vulnerable children remains and the operating model and the financial support for the crèches needs to provide for this need.

A basic requirement for the crèches is that they are set up and governed such that they qualify for government funding as Philangethemba and its partners cannot provide this significant ongoing funding.

Before a detailed plan for development of this link in the chain can be given a debate needs to take place about the operating model of the crèches and the role for Philangethemba in this model. We have started the discussion with one of the crèches (Kethokuhle) and will be promoting further discussion in the forthcoming period but it is not possible to judge how long this process will take.