The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Adv. Albert Fritz, visited the Stepping Stones Creche in District 6 to commemorate Universal Children’s Day.
The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) has prioritised the development and protection of the province’s 1 739 425 children. Our Children and Families programme receives R605.5-million, which is the second largest funding allocation.
Minister Fritz was met by the centres manager, Ms. Thelma Chisholm, and her staff and assisted in serving lunch to the children.
The province is estimated to have approximately 570 000 children aged 0 – 4 years, who would make up the ECD population. The Stepping Stones creche is one of over 1500 registered Early Childhood Development (ECD) centre’s which receive funding as a registered ECD centres from the department’s overall ECD budget of R294-million.
This budget also allows DSD to identify and register the estimated 1000 unregistered ECD centres across the province. Registration ensures their compliance with health and safety requirements, as per the Children’s Act.
In addition to early childhood development, the Children’s Programme has focused on the following interventions in responding to the needs of the community:
Finalised the policy on Temporary Safe Care (a service for children-at-risk);
Finalised the Provincial Child Protection Strategy;
Developed a training package and tools for quality assurance at Child and Youth Care Centres (CYCCs) to ensure compliance to Norms and Standards, and this has been successfully piloted at four of our CYCC’s;
Through our designation of Child Protection organizations, the Western Cape was the first province to register CYCCs for a further 5 year period;
Developed and implemented a provincial strategy to manage the foster care backlog.
If we are truly to ensure every child is protected and raised in an enabling environment, then government, civil society and parents need to work in partnership. We can honour our children on Universal Children’s Day, and every day, if we work ‘Better Together’.
Minister Albert Fritz
Cell: 083 307 0192
Spokesperson for Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development
Tel: 021 483 9217
Cell: 076 083 6543
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS