In keeping with their commitment to provide and equip crèches on their properties, SAFE has taken steps to register two crèches on Western Cape farms with the Department of Education.
The registration is part of SAFE’s comprehensive CSI programme aimed at establishing crèches on farms that did not previously have them and improving and upgrading existing farm crèches.
“We are committed to offering the children of our farm staff the best opportunities for learning that we can,” says SAFE pre-school teacher, Ingrid Broodryk. “That is why we have begun the process of registering two crèches, Besige Bytjies and Woelwaters, at Bonathaba and Zwartfontein near Wellington with the Department of Education.
“The process demands that the creches comply with a minimum of 20 regulations of compliance demanded by the department. So far we have received a very positive response from the department after site inspections that have taken place.”
With the conviction that an appreciation of reading is critical for early childhood development, Ingrid has installed what she calls “reading nooks” at the crèches and she has implemented a routine where teachers meet weekly to plan and implement the department-approved curriculum to which the crèche teachers comply.
Apart from mental care, the children’s health is also of concern. “That’s why I am particularly pleased with a donation of toothbrushes and toothpaste from a local orthodontist,” said Ingrid. A donation of “beanies” has also been welcomed for keeping the tiny tots’ heads warm in winter.
With the enthusiastic support of SAFE’s General Manager of Farming Operations, Dries Van Rooyen, the playgrounds of both crèches are being extended.
Parents are kept informed of developments at the crèches to help them provide emotional support for the children.
An aftercare centre is now in place at Zwartfontein.
In February 2018 Dries said that SAFE was committed to improving the lives of the employees on all its farms and establishing well-resourced crèches was one of the important ways the company was doing this.
“I am happy therefore that we have been able to deliver on our commitment – and we will continue to do so. Optimising the early years of children’s lives is one of the best investments society can make for ensuring that adults of the future grow up with sound values and well-developed social skills.
“It is a once in a lifetime opportunity to have a positive impact on young lives. And pre-school is far more than just playing – although the basic educational benefits of pre-school like literacy and numeracy are tangible, the advances children make in becoming well-rounded individuals are beyond price,” says van Rooyen.