City wraps up tender for upgraded creche

A classroom in the Scorpio Early Childhood Development Centre which was upgraded by the City and reopened at the beginning of last year.

The Scorpio crèche in Ocean View, upgraded by the City of Cape Town to the tune of R3.5million at the beginning of last year, now has a “preferred operator” after the tender from Deeds of Love Ministries was accepted by the City.

Scorpio crèche, in Scorpio Road, now known as the Scorpio Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre, has been upgraded by the City of Cape Town as a “centre of excellence” but has remained empty since its launch in February 2015.

The first operator who signed an agreement to run the centre pulled out and the lease was re-advertised, with Deeds of Love Ministries recently being awarded the tender.

Suzette Little, mayoral committee member for social development and early childhood development, said that the organisation was an NGO dealing with social development initiatives, which falls under the auspices of the Baptist Church in Ocean View. Part of the community upliftment work they did was early childhood development work.

Ms Little said they could not say when the centre would open.

“Officials from the City’s Early Childhood Development Department have met with the preferred operator and conducted a site visit of the facility. Officials will have a follow-up meeting with the operator to study their plan in order to position City’s support to them in terms of preparing for the opening of the facility,” she said.

Ms Little said that Deeds of Love Ministries were involved in the running and management of ECD centres in areas such as Khayelitsha and Strandfontein and therefore had the skills to run the local ECD centre.

The upgraded facility has space for 180 children and, at its launch, the City said the centre would have a toy and book library open for use by surrounding crèches.

The City was asked to confirm that the lease was for three years with an annual rental of R845 and whether the fees would be kept affordable. In response, Ms Little said: “The tariff (rental payment) is determined through council processes. The fee/payment structure for children is determined by the appointed operator.”

Asked whether this centre would be to the detriment of other crèches in that they might lose pupils to the Scorpio ECD centre, Ms Little said: “The ECD centre is meant to create equal access to all children of Ocean View, and no children will be denied an opportunity to gain access to a good quality ECD programme. Small ECDs will have an opportunity to partner with an operator to roll out ECD programmes to the benefit of the children.”

She said the City would continue to have a financial commitment to the creche, maintaining it, including the furnishings and educational materials supplied, in terms of its immovable property portfolio.