MEC Patricia de Lille confirms department investigation into death of 5 month old baby at Pinelands Daycare centre
Social Development Minister Patricia de Lille has ordered a departmental investigation into the death of a 5 month old baby at a Daycare centre in Pinelands.
'This morning we dispatched a social worker from our Bellville office and she is currently on the scene investigating the baby's tragic death,' Ms De Lille says.
'As soon as we have completed our investigation we will release our findings to the public. At this point all we are prepared to say about the incident is that it appears the baby died after falling off a bed at the centre.
'It also appears that the Daycare centre is unregistered,' says De Lille.
'I also want to say that all the crimes, accidents and other incidents involving children over the past few weeks have been a rude awakening for me as the Minister of this crucial Department.
'The time has certainly come for me to say that anyone who mistreats a child can count me as their number one enemy,' De Lille says.
The Minister has called on parents that are considering sending their children to what is officially termed a 'Partial Care Facility Rendering Early Childhood Development Services' to first do the following:
- Insist on seeing the registration certificate
- Ensure they understand the Early Childhood Development Programme that is implemented by the centre.
'Our policy is to help unregistered facilities get registered, unless their practices are detrimental to the wellbeing of children,' De Lille says.
An audit of Daycare facilities carried out in 2007 showed that there were around 2000 unregistered facilities in the province.
'Our district offices have regular information drives where we educate facility owners about their legal obligation to get registered. We also work closely with environmental health practitioners in local municipalities to identify unregistered facilities.'
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