As a result of the abject poverty and lack of employment in the rural areas, townships and informal settlements of South Africa, there exists a network of informal crèches.
These crèches are usually poorly constructed and made out of corrugated iron, wood, mud or wire and stones. Those fortunate enough may have sound structures erected by local municipalities but, in the main, the crèches are housed in makeshift buildings and in some instances, caregivers have converted their lowly shacks into crèches to assist the community in caring for the local children.
These crèches are manned by volunteers from the local communities who do not have the necessary training to take care of the children, yet alone teach them. The caregivers at the crèches in the main lack the skills and experience to provide a safe and enriching educative environment for the children.
The children attending these crèches are cared for in the main by grandmothers, single and/or school-going parents or older siblings and are sent to the crèche for some measure of safety, social interaction and learning during the day; often without even the most rudimentary of lunch pack. These children make up part of the over four million children in South Africa who suffer from household hunger.
It is a well-known fact that it is during the period from birth to 6 years old that a child’s brain develops and grows the most. In order for a child to experience normal growth and enjoy a normal and meaningful education, a balanced protein diet is essential. It is in this context that Feed the Babies Fund focusses its resources on feeding pre-school children. To ensure that the children are taught a syllabus that will prepare them for formal schooling, we train caregivers in Crèche Management and other ECD programs.