The childcare industry in South Africa has continued to grow and make a difference in many families and communities. A growing number of children are now receiving care in safe and secure environments in the absence of their parents. The significant role day care centres are playing has made government through the department of social development to place registration and compliance at the heart of the industry. One institution playing an integral role in transforming day care centres from non-compliant to compliant is Early Childhood Development Upliftment Projects and Consulting (ECD). A perfect example of the great work being done by ECD is Impala ECD Centre located in Rosettenville, in the south of Johannesburg.
Established in 2012 and run by enterprising Nelisiwe Hlatshwayo, Impala ECD centre initially started operating illegally without applying for consent. Nelisiwe’s day-care centre constantly faced the prospect of being closed and site visitation requests from government officials and parents came with a feeling of fear knowing fully well that she was operating against the law. Because of not meeting compliance requirements and capitalising on the ignorance of many parents, children were subjected to unhealthy and inhabitable conditions with overcrowding, inexperienced and unskilled staff and children falling ill being the norm. In a nutshell, the day care centres business image was at its lowest with few parents willing to be associated with it.
After operating illegally for four years, the year 2016 brought about a change in fortunes for Impala ECD Centre with the coming on the scene of ECD Upliftment Projects. ECD Upliftment Projects received consent and handled the health permit and certificate of acceptability applications. Working together with the health and safety team, ECD Site’s Evacuation application was completed, ensuring that the ECD Site met all the requirements of health and safety.
ECD Site policies were implemented to ensure a professional working environment for both staff and parents and also to meet policy and legislation of the Social Development Department. Impala ECD centre staff were encouraged to study further, leading to the owner and principal of the ECD Site qualifying with a NQF Level 5 in early childhood development in 2016.
Speaking about the help she received from ECD Upliftment Projects and Consulting, Nelisiwe had nothing but praise for the institution having previously failed to attain compliance on her own. ECD Upliftment Projects has been commended for being helpful, professional, providing clarity, providing financial transparency and prudency as well as achieving excellent results in the shortest possible time.
Having been assisted with being compliant, Impala day-care centre has witnessed an increase in learner numbers. Nelisiwe has got her peace of mind and business confidence back, which has led to developing a business approach to the growth and vision of the ECD Site by meeting the needs of the ECD Site, as stipulated in her town planning consent letter, and the various departments the ECD Site is now registered with.
Other benefits accrued from receiving consent and being compliant include the fact that Impala ECD site has grown in learner numbers with a learner waiting list implemented. Parents are no longer concerned with the overcrowding of learners, constant illness and unskilled staff. These positive changes have enabled Nelisiwe who is the owner of the centre to win back the hearts of parents in the local community. Plans to open a second ECD centre by Nelisiwe are underway as she continues to reap the benefits of being legally compliant and operating under stipulated policies, regulations and by-laws.
Nelisiwe Hlatshwayo’s Impala ECD Centre – South of Johannesburg is an outstanding case study of the importance of being compliant and the benefits associated with the process. For ECD compliance process matters and training, Early Childhood Development Upliftment Projects and Consulting (ECD) is the specialist institution you can trust. Within a period of 12 months, ECD will take care of the entire compliance process which will result in your day care centre optimising learner intake, increase funding prospects and increase profitability.