Forty-three children in East London have been left without shelter after a fire destroyed part of the Zamani Educare Centre.
The fire incinerated groceries, mattresses, clothes, choir uniforms and gowns for the children's graduation ceremony.
The centre was deserted at the time the fire broke out.
The destroyed block, comprising four rooms, accommodated 43 children aged one and two years old. The kids had to be accommodated in another block at the creche, which is only a shack of wood and corrugated iron.
Ncumisa Yoyo, founder of the creche, said the cause of the fire was unknown, but she did not rule out the possibility of arson.
Yoyo said this was the third time a fire had ravaged the Zamani centre.
"It burnt down in 1998 and again in 2004. In one incident a parent, who was preparing food for the children, was badly burnt when a paraffin stove exploded.
"She was in hospital for a month," Yoyo said.
Some parents kept their children at home after news of the fire.
The creche employs 10 teachers and has 270 children, aged between one and six years.
Yesterday teachers were trying to arrange alternative accommodation for the affected children.
"I don't know what we are going to do now," Yoyo said.
She said Zamani had received more than R100000 in funding from US donors to build a proper creche.
But she claimed the municipality has been dragging its feet in allocating them a site.
"I have been talking to councillors for years about getting a site, without success," she said.
Police said they were investigating the cause of the fire.