Words: Theodora Lutuli
I was born and raised in Nyanga, Cape Town, and as a child, I enjoyed the company of other children. In 1985 my mom started an educare centre (Khanyisa Nursery School) where children could be safe, receive a nutritious meal, and learn in the process. It expanded to become Inkwenkwezi Educare Centre in 1997 due to an increase in children wanting to attend. The impact of the pandemic on what is now my early childhood development (ECD) centre and staff, has been terrible!
My centre is not government-funded and is solely dependent on fees as a source of income. You can imagine if parents are unemployed and do not have an income; they cannot afford to pay fees for their children, which range between R200 and R300. My fear now is that if we do open, how many people will be available because some teachers have had no income since March. I would not be surprised if they looked for work outside of the ECD sector. This is a loss for the sector because some of them have been trained and have the skills but cannot be without an income.