Keletsong suddenly taken seriously after winning award

Victor Mecoamere

Victor Mecoamere

A lot has changed for the better since the Keletsong Community Training and Resources Centre became winners in the Absa and Sowetan Early Childhood Development Awards.

The awards are driven by the nation-building partnership of Sowetan, Absa and the South African Congress of Early Childhood Development, the Office on the Rights of the Child, Education Department and SABC Education.

The awards seek to strengthen the Early Childhood Development sector by encouraging the registration and accreditation of ECD centres or creches, ECD practitioners or teachers and organisations helping to train practitioners, such as Keletsong is doing.

"We are suddenly taken seriously as community workers in Majaneng near Temba in Hammanskraal, Gauteng," Ethel Sithole, pictured, whose group topped in the ECD resources and training organisations category, says.

"All along we were struggling. Now we are inundated with people wanting advice, partnerships, motivation and inspiration, while others want to know the secrets of our success," she says.

Keletsong serves North West, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, helps to train ECD practitioners up to the SA qualifications authority's national qualifications framework level 4 or up to diploma level, and:

lEquips ECD practitioners with necessary skills to improve their academic and professional competitiveness and the quality of service provision; and

lFacilitates networks and builds partnerships with community organisation and government departments - including the education, health and social services departments - for the benefit of the children.

Other winners: Nozipho Mbeka-Sijaji, Refilwe Maponya and Paulinah Twala.

The winners in other categories:

lBest Home-based Care Centres - North West's Legae La Bana Creche, Mpumalanga's Emfundweni Early Childhood Development Centre and Eastern Cape's Doempie Playgroup;

lBest Community-based Care Centres - joint, first-placed winners KwaZulu-Natal's Inkanyiso Creche and Mpumalanga's IK Makuse Early Learning Centre and second and third-placed winners Gauteng's Thabong Creche and Western Cape's Ishraaq Edu-Care Centre;

lBest ECD resource and training organisations - Western Cape's Early Learning Foundation Montessori Teacher Training Centre and Eastern Cape's Centre for Social Development.