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Creches Can Now Reopen

The High Court has ruled that private Early Childhood Development centres are allowed to reopen immediately. The ruling was made at the high court in Pretoria.

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The SA Childcare Association was represented by Antonie van Wyk who successfully won the case. The purpose of opening the case was to receive clarity about the legal position of the ECD sector.

"The Minister of Basic Education had indicated that grade R and at some point pre-grade R schools could be open. There is a technical overlap between the Basic education department and Social development. The purpose of the court application was to bring clarity." said Van Wyk. 

Although the reopening of ECD centres is good thing, Van Wyk spoke about issues that make it difficult for the sector to be regulated. 

He pointed out that the Minister does not have any control over the sector so there is no way to check if unregistered facilities are complying. 

The department has however made self assessment forms for facilities that want to reopen. Even with this, Van Wyk is confident in the good that the reopening of the centres will do for children. 

Children who have been living at home during the lockdown have not been receiving the nutrition and support that they would normally receive from ECDs. 

"Children have been traumatised because a lot of them have been left at home without any care, a lot of them are reliant on the ECD centres to provide them with the nutrition that they need."

Van Wyk finds the Minister's initial decision to not reopen ECD centres irrational, as children do not transmit the disease as regularly as adults. 

"Professionals seem to support the view that children of that age are not at risk of contracting the disease."

 

 

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