Wednesday, July 12th, 2017
Karen van der Berg
The fate of most working mothers is the feeling of guilt which they have to live with when they go back to the office after their babies’ birth. In addition to this, there are the milestones which they miss out on, the worry about their babies’ wellbeing and the sadness because they will not be seeing their babies for a solid eight hours.
But what if your workplace provides day-care and you can pop in during the day to see if everything is still going well? How can you start such a project at your work? Will it work?
Karien Vosloo of Cape Town has helped many undertakings to start a day-care centre. She gives guidance about the cumbersome process:
“Various government departments are involved in the certification of a day-care centre or crèche, and if you want to suggest it to your employer, it is wise to first find out more about these processes.”
The certification process can take between three to 18 months to finalise.
“If you look after six or less children, you need not register, but for more you will have to go through the process,” she says.
She says the government departments involved are the department of health, the department of social development and the department of education (especially if you intend to work with Grade R, or preparation thereto).
“The department of health then does inspections – before and after your school’s registration – to make sure everything is in order. You have to submit a plan for in the event of a fire breaking out, as well as an emergency plan for other contingencies.”
The department of social development will also perform an inspection.
Karien says she started at her local municipality with her application. There you should obtain forms and they often have contact with the relevant government departments.
“I did not take in more than six children before the registration was finalised, just because I like to do things according to the rules, so I would not recommend it to anyone else. If something is wrong, it means that they could close your school even before it was really open.”
If you are planning to submit something to your employer, make sure you have as much information as possible regarding the regulations and what you will need. If possible, also compile a provisional budget – how much you think you will pay your employees per month, how much money will be required to prepare the premises, and where on the premises (or elsewhere) the day-care centre will be situated.
- Try to calculate how many children will be able or want to attend the day-care centre.
- Plan for which ages the school will be open.
- The area in which the company is situated, will determine if it is suitable for children. Regulations about the number of children allowed, the number of children per teacher and the zoning of the area in which the day-care centre will be situated, could differ between provinces, therefore contact your local government for finer details.
- If your company or the day-care centre is situated in a residential area, you will first have to obtain permission from all the residents in the relevant street and on the block to open a school.
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