With a successful first year of operation under its belt, the Mandela Park Community Crèche in Khayelitsha has brought even more dedication and enthusiasm into 2011. Started as a community-led effort to provide a safe and productive learning environment for the community’s youngest members, the crèche (day-care center) has recently opened up a fifth class, for children aged 2-3 years. The children are now taught in the following age groups: 0-2, 2-3, 3-3½, 3½-4, and 4-5. The new class is being held in a big hall at Andile Nhose Community Centre, and although the hall is in need of some repairs, the community is responding to that need to ensure a comfortable space for the children.

The devoted teachers of Mandela Park are an incredible asset to the day-care center. To perform at their highest potential, however, all of the teachers need workshops and Early Childhood Development training. CHOSA is currently exploring how we can best help the center to meet the needs of its teachers, as they put forth every effort to provide a positive educational experience for the children. As the day-care center has grown and become more established, there has been a greater need for training on financial book-keeping, and CHOSA staff members have been assisting with these needs. We expect even more exciting developments from Mandela Park Community Crèche in the coming months, as the volunteers and staff continue to devote themselves to the well-being of the children they serve.