Zero2Five Trust supplies 150 Early Childhood Development (ECD) Supervisors with PPEs so that on 3 August, when the ECD Centres open all are equipped to protect themselves and the children.
“It has been over four months since the schools and with that, the ECDCs in South Africa closed their doors,” says Julika Falconer, Zero2Five CEO. “These centres, commonly known as “crèches”, offer vital nutrition and early learning programmes for South Africa’s children.”
The Centres fall under the Department of Social Development and need to adhere to the guidelines stipulated in the Standard Operating Procedures issued by the Department of Social Development on 23 June 2020.
With a long list of resources required to re-open, including PPEs amounting to not less than R 3000 per centre, many ECD supervisors all over the country are facing temporary or permanent closure of their centres. Their main income is based on school fees, ranging between R 50 and R 400 monthly, depending on the area and age of the child. Many centres are operating with not more than 60% of parents able to pay such fees and the last month any fees have been paid was March. It comes without saying that current finances in the widely informal ECD Sector do not allow the purchase of the long PPE list necessary to ensure a safe environment for children and caretakers alike.
Kloof based Zero2Five has over 400 such unfunded ECD Centres throughout KwaZulu-Natal on their nutrition, play and education programmes, none of which receive any form of government support during this COVID-19 lockdown.
“We asked our regular donors and supporters for help and started a “PPE for ECD” campaign. In the past 2 months, PPE items and funds were raised to safely open up 150 ECD Centres on Monday, 3rd August,” continues Falconer. “We had a great response as everyone by now has an idea of how expensive all these hygiene products are.”
“Our longstanding partner Marriott Asset Management allowed us to allocate existing funding to this crisis, CHEMLOG came on board with a huge donation of hand sanitizers and cleaning products, the Willowton Group contributed hand towels and thousands of soap bars as part of our WASH campaign and extra funding came in from Durban’s Victor Daitz Foundation, PatAcc Accounting and GAGA- Goodwill & Growth for Africa. Illovo Africa made a massive contribution with printing and laminating COVID-19 info materials in Zulu and Xhosa for 200 centres and brochures for children to take home. Pink masks have been donated by “Keep in Sew Simple”, a Hillcrest business.
Hoping that an average of 35 children will return to their ECD centres this next week, this super collaboration ensures that well over 5000 children will return to regular meals and early learning programmes.”
Note to editors:
Each ECDC received: 1 x 5l 70% alcohol sanitizer concentrate, 1 x 5 l dishwashing liquid, 1 spray bottle, 1 roll with 100 multi-purpose cloths, 1 garage roll hand towels, 60 bars of soap, 4 masks per teacher, 2 cloth masks per child (to remain at school), 2 laminated COVID-19 posters per centre, COVID 19 flyers and brochures for all parents, self-assessment forms and registers for all centres.
10 centres with over 60 children received thermometer guns. With additional funding, Zero2Five will continue to supply 5 l of sanitizer. Funds permitting additional thermometers will be purchased.