The signing of the Implementation Protocol Agreement on 11 November 2010 between the Western Cape Department of Social Development and the City of Cape Town improved cooperation between the two spheres of government, unblocking service delivery gaps in the system.
The announcement here today is the first success story to come out of this closer cooperation and we are confident that more will follow.
Our 'Joint Plan of Action' to help register the hundreds of unregistered Partial Care Facilities in the City is as follows:
- The MEC for Social Development in the Western Cape will declare an 'Amnesty Period' as of 1 February 2011, which will give all unregistered Partial Care Facilities 6 months in which to apply for registration.
- The 'Amnesty Period' will only apply to already operating Partial Care Facilities. This means that anyone wanting to open a new facility after 1 February 2011 will need to apply first and will be allowed to open only if and when they have meet the norms and standards as contained in the Children's Act. Of course, they will also need to meet the City's regulations relating to health, safety and fire.
- The 'Amnesty Period' will end on 31 July 2011.
We would like to call on parents throughout Cape Town to work with us to ensure that after the 'Amnesty Period' is up all Partial Care Facilities are registered.
We need you to be our eyes and ears.
Get involved in the education of your child from day one.
Get onto the board of your child's Partial Care Facility so that you can ensure that your child is in safe hands, receiving the best possible foundation for the future.
Education is crucial in the development of our society and research has shown that the quality of the Early Childhood Development programme a child receives has a major impact on their future educational achievements.
Currently operating illegal Partial Care Facilities have a lot to gain by coming forward.
Not only do registered facilities gain access to a wide range of resources from both spheres of Government, but they are also in a position to apply for the subsidisation of pupils, from the Provincial Department of Social Development, subject to certain conditions.
Parents or Partial Care Facility operators and caregivers that have any questions regarding the process can call the toll free numbers of the provincial department and the City, on 0800 220 250, and 0800 872 201, respectively.
The Department is also in the process of loading up the names of all registered Partial Care Facilities in the province onto the CapeGateway website.
This will be finalised by the end of next week, 21 January.
Please note that we have included with the press statement a 'Joint Action Plan Organogram', showing exactly who is responsible for which task, as well as the order of the tasks, so that there is accountability.
This document also shows the entire followed by Government once current and prospective operators have handed in their application forms.
The beauty of the new process is that a current or prospective owner will no longer need to deal with the different spheres of Government separately, with the possibility of him or her waiting for one or the other to complete its part of the process.
Now Province and the City will handle all of these bottlenecks internally and in cooperation with each other.
Clearly Government needs to act to ensure that all of us comply with the law and especially the Children's Act
In terms of Section 77 (2) of the Children's Act, 'The MEC for Social Development must:
- Maintain a record of all the registered partial care facilities in the province
- Within the national strategy contemplated in subsection (1), provide for a provincial strategy to ensure an appropriate spread of partial care facilities in the province.'
Section 76 says that:
'Partial care is provided when a person, whether for or without reward, takes care of more than six children on behalf of their parents or care-givers during specific hours of the day or night, or for a temporary period, by agreement between the parents or care-givers and the provider of the service...'
The Act also delegates specific functions to municipalities.
Those illegal facilities that do not come forward during the 6-month 'Amnesty Period' must please note that this Amnesty will not be extended after 31 July 2011, for any reason whatsoever, and that we will not hesitate to enforce the law and shut you down.