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welcome An age old african proverb says that it takes a village to raise a child. What this means is that raising a child is a collective effort. Welcome to the very first issue of Crèche Magazine. In this launch issue of Crèche, we welcome all parents, friends, family, caregivers and the community at large. Crèche is a magazine that aims to stimulate growth and accelerate the development of children who are mainly at pre-school level. It is also

a magazine that helps the caregivers in their day-to-day duties, but most importantly this magazine was designed for the parent. How safe is the creche that your child goes to? what exactly is it that they eat on a daily basis? Do they even wash their hands before they eat, or after play? knowing how busy a parent you are, these are some of the issues covered in this launch issue to help put your mind at ease.There is a new parent in town,

walk with us hand in hand and let us take them to crèche. We hope you will enjoy reading this magazine and feel free to give us your views.

contents Feature



ASTHMA – children living with DEVELOPMENT – we look at the different forms of learning disabilities in chilchronic disease. dren and how you can detect them. 01 Editorial note 02 News briefly– the latest news and events. 03 Feedback - your letters. 05 Manners – clean hands, healthy body 06 Health focus - understanding asthma 07 Q & A - Dr Mphahlele answers your questions. 08 Family matters – fathers play- ing their role Managing Editor: Khutso Ntsoane Editor: Thando Ncube Contributors: Grace Seema, Suzanne Swart, A C Abraham, Lebo Chauke, Charlize Grinnell, Lerato Molewa

10 Development - learning disability in children. 13 Book reviews – introducing children to the wonderful world of books. 14 Cover story - is your child being bullied 16 Financial – saving for your child’s future. 18 Safety – safety at crèche. 19 Calendar - sing Madiba a happy birthday on the 18th. Photography: Lorraine Smith Layout & design: Llaai Ntsoane SACrècheMagazine PO Box 4670, Pretoria 0001

22 Book reviews – the importance of introducing your child to reading. 21 Policy & practice – Minister Dlamini speaks at the early childhood conference. 22 Community focus – Mai Mai Khuthala pre school. 24 Nutrition – preparing a healthy lunch box.

Editorial enquiries: Advertising enquiries: Published by: Llaai Ntsoane (+27) 11 024 6451

SA Crèche is published monthly by onesevenone communications. All reasonable care is taken in the preparation of the magazine contents, but the publisher cannot be held responsible for errors in the contents of this magazine or to any loss or damages however arising from such errors, including loss arising from negligence of our staff. Reliance based upon the contents of this magazine is at reader’s own risk.


Reach The Sky Gauteng Child Abuse Report

Child and Youth Care Workers

According to Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, more than 3 000 children are listed in the Child Protection Register (CPR) for sexual abuse in Gauteng. The register lists names of children who have been sexually abused, emotionally abused and deliberately neglected.

The Department of Social Development plans to recruit and train 10 000 Child and Youth Care Workers over the next three years to support children living in child-headed households, using the Isibindi Model. This model was developed by the National Association for Child Care Workers (NACCW) to train and employ community-based Child and Youth Care Workers. The aim is to provide child care to children who live in child-headed households or households where adults are ill mostly due to HIV and AIDS.

Professional Board for Child and Youth Care Work This Board should be operational by December this year. It will be responsible for the registration of practitioners at National Qualification Framework (NQF) levels four(4) to seven(7). The board will be responsible for the code of conduct as well as setting of minimum standards for education and training in the child and youth care sector.

SASSA Crackdown On Fraud

Briefing journalists in Pretoria, the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini said that her department has stepped up efforts to stamp out fraud and corruption within its social security system. The total number of children who have From the beginning of June, the agency lost one or both parents in the country. started a full re-registration of all social More than 668 000 children have lost grant beneficiaries “on a comprehensive both parents while 122 000 children biometric identification system�. are estimated to live in child-headed The department, through the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA), has providhouseholds. ed grants to over 15 million beneficiaries with a total budget of R105bn. An estimated R2 billion is lost due to fraud according to the department. Sassa has The total number of foster care benefits stopped illegal grant payments to 111 paid out to different beneficiaries. foreigners.

3.8 million

536 000 2

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feedback We welcome your advice and feedback. Send to

I am a qualified teacher by profession and have been teaching Sub A (Grade 1) for more than 22 years., after I retired two years ago I opened a pre-school. I was surprised to find out early years education falls under the Social Department and not the Education Department in our country. This is very flawed and highlights how we view early education as not part of the overall education system. In many townships there are many creches which are run by people who have no experience in education, as long as you have a garage you can open a creche. We are failing our children as government, early education forms the foundation of education without this we are setting our children up for failure in later years. A creche should not be a place that children are left with the neighbourhood gogo to look after them, it should be educational in play and other forms. The education of our children is not a social matter first but should be an educational issue, the Social Department should deal with the social aspects of children in the form of grants, and not the education of our children. Every research you can think of shows the importance of education during this stage, the Minister should first transfer the duties of early years learning to the Education Department. The Social Department has no capabilities , the know-how or even the vision to succesfully deal with the education of our children. - Precious Mahlangu I read your article on preparing a lunch box for my daughter, can you please include recipes - Jessie Me and my wife always had this debate about taking the child to creche and which creche is best for her. I didnt understand that there was a difference between a day care and creche. I myself didn’t go to creche and I turned out fine so I thought it best to get someone to look after our daughter rather than expose our child to a creche and possibly sickness. I didnt understand the importance of early childhood development and thanks to your magazine, the article on the Minister of Social Development’s speech opened my eyes to the importance of early development. Thanks to you, I now am no longer fighting with my wife about taking my little girl to creche. After the winter season we are takin her to creche. The problem comes with choosing the best creche in our neighbourhood and after reading your article on safety in creches we are better able to choose. I just wish you could recommend a good creche. - Steve Cholo

I have had the luck and pleasure of accidentaly seeing your magazine on the website. I have to say that I was very happy to see that there is a magazine that finally answers many questions I had about my children’s creche and raises new questions as well. I am a single mother of two who is self employed so I am very busy running my business that I hardly spend enough time with my two boys. I wake up very early in the morning and take them to creche and that is where they spend most of their time. I live in Diepkloof and my children’s creche is run from the garage like many creches in the township. I had questions as to how my children spend their day and what they eat and it troubled me not knowing. I have taken it upon myself to educate the creche and even recommended the magazine to my boys’ creche. I realy loved the article on hand washing, I didn’t realise the importance of washing hands and now I prepare them warm water every day after creche and they enjoy playing with water. Thank You for a wonderful magazine. - Lerato Motla

Congradulations on your magazine. I have found it to be relevant, reader friendly and helpful. I am a single father raising a four year old, her mother passed away when he was just two. I enjoy reading magazines about family and children in particular but have battled to find a publication that focuses on the needs of children in their early years learning stage. I hold the belief that at this stage education is most vital, as a child is exposed to and prepared for life. I hope that your magazine is distributed in more townships creches as there is a need to show the importance of education at this stage. GOOD LUCK - Cavin Nkosi Reading the article on bullying was as if you were talking about me. I am 29 years old and was bullied when I was at creche and this continued till my adult life as most of my bullies went to the same creche and unfortunately for me same primary and high schools.Your article will assist many parents to deal with this behaviour and start to address it. The playground can be brutal and hateful, I am a living proof of preschool bullying and even today at my work I am still struggling to stand up for myself. There are other teenagers who have commited suicide because of constant bullying and their parents are left with unanswered questions and blame. Hopefully this article will prevent such, as it gives parents the knowledge to act. Say No To Bullying - Thabiso Mokoena


Parents know what’s best for their children Do you know which magazine they are reading? South African



Clean hands, healthy body Warm water, soap and a good scrub go a long way towards keeping the doctor away. Everyone understands the importnace of clean hands but how effective is hand washing towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle? Eating healthy and regular exercise are effective when it comes to preventing illnesses. Washing hands is the easiest, cheapest and most effective way of avoiding bacteria and preventing diseases. From crèche level, children must be taught the importance of proper hygiene. Regular hand washing kills most cold and flu viruses. We use our hands for just about everything. Children especially, use their hands for learning and exploring and whatever is in the hand usually goes straight to their mouths. Washing hands is important at crèche level: firstly because of the high number of children using the same facilities and secondly because germs remain on the surface of the skin and are transferred to everything that one touches. Remember it only takes something like a communal toy or a slide for the germ to be passed on to the next child. Germs remain on everything that we touch: the gate, door handles, chairs, colouring pencils and toys are just some of the things that expose children to germs on a daily basis at crèche. Children at crèche should be taught to wash their hands after using

Lerato Molewa explains good health and the importance of clean hands as well as the habits that parents should promote in their children early on.

the toilet, especially boys. Warm water and soap are best at removing germs. Hands must be washed before and after meals, before and after play. The best time to wash hands is when one feels that they are dirty, so children must be taught what dirt means and what is likely to soil their hands. Any soap works just as well as the next and using an expensive soap does not necessarily mean that you will have cleaner hands. Hand wipes and sanitizers are also recommended, they have alcohol in them which makes them good at killing germs and can be used anytime anywhere but water and soap are best. There is no replacement for water and soap and one must always remember to wash hands as soon as water and soap are available even if they have used a sanitizer before. Most importantly, you must wash your child’s hands first thing when they get home from crèche.

Hand Washing Tips For Children.

• Warm water and soap are best at killing germs. • Wet hands and apply soap all over hands up to the wrists. • A good wash should last 20 seconds and rinse for 5 seconds. • Always use a clean towel to dry and try avoiding touching the faucet with bare hands as it usually still has germs from when you first opened it. • Wash hands atleast 3 times a day for 20 seconds. • Have a hand washing song for your child so as to pass the time.

health focus

Understanding Asthma

Grace Seema discusses the dangers of Asthma in children, the importance of early diagnosis and how to manage the disease.


ou are picking your child up from crècheand she suddenly clutches her throat and is battling to breathe. You rush her to the doctor and no one seems to know the cause of the sudden loss in breath, the diagnosis changes from one doctor to the next. It could be an asthma attack but you are not sure. This story should sound familiar to many parents raising an asthmatic child. Little Katlego from next door had her parents taking her to the doctor every second day due to shortness of breath. Little did they know that their child had Asthma. Asthma is a life long, non contagious and incurable illness that attacks the bronchial tubes in the lungs. It causes the airways to swell thereby making them tighter and produce excess mucus which makes it difficult to breath. Air going in and out the lungs is hampered by the swelling or inflammation which causes the asthma attack. Parents need to know what to do if their child is asthmatic, just in case the child suffers an attack. Asthma is less prominent in young children than it is in older people. Not to say that young


children do not get asthma but doctors can only properly detect it at age five (5 ) and older. Symptoms of asthma in 4 year olds and younger resemble those of other diseases and illnesses and at an age that young there is no way doctors can be sure, even though it has been detected in children as young as 3 years old. The best indicator of a child’s likelihood of having asthma is their bloodline. Those children whose families have a history of asthma and allergies are the likeliest to get asthma when they grow older. Although there are also tablets and syrups for the treatment of asthma, two most notable kinds of treatments are most preferred in South Africa: the inhaler and a nebulizer. The inhaler is the most common treatment for asthma and asthma medication is administered using the inhaler. The inhaler delivers a metered dosage directly to the lung area as it is inhaled thereby making it quick, cheaper and efficient at providing relief. The second treatment is the Nebulizer which is an oxygen cylinder connected to a tube which is used to supply direct oxygen. The Nebulizer is best for home use during an asthma attack whilst

waiting for the ambulance. Even though Asthma is not curable, it is easily manageable when detected early and treated correctly according to the doctor’s advice. The inhaler should be carried at all times as asthma attacks are triggered by both internal and external factors. Approximately 40% of children who suffer from shortness of breath, difficulty breathing and allergies before the age of 6 have asthma according to the statement by the working group of the Allergy Society of South Africa. Asthma is the most common chronic disease in children and it should be diagnosed in a child who persistently has breathing difficulties irrespective of whether they cough or not. Common symptoms of asthma include coughing, weakness, rapid breathing, shortness of breath, frequent headaches, dark circles under the eyes and loss of appetite. An asthmatic attack can be triggered by cigarette smoke, indoor allergens, household dust mites (especially on bedding), pets, cockroach allergy, dietary factors and may also be caused by excessive running. Child diagnosis is more a precautionary measure than a confirmation of the illness. Although it affects the lungs it does not necessarily mean that children with asthma cannot play like other children. If your child wants to run and play soccer they can, as long as they don’t overdo it and they always carry their inhaler with them. The inhaler can be issued to kids as young as 4 years old. Cigarette smoke is one of the triggers of an asthma attack and this is why parents should avoid smoking near children. One should always carry their inhaler with them, but a slip of the mind does not have to turn into a fatal situation. There are a few methods one can use in emergency situations when an inhaler is nowhere to be found: Should a child suffer an attack, make sure to sit them down and have them cover their nose and mouth with both hands and breath into them. A normal brown paper or plastic bag work best, but usually such things are nowhere to be found during an emergency, this strategy emulates the Nebuliser and has been known to be efficient. Children should be taught how to counter the onset of an asthma attack and this must be practised by both parent and child.

QA &

My daughter is a serial biter and it is sometimes impossible to go anywhere without her biting another child. Biting can be incredibly antisocial and is often more traumatic for the parent than the child! Biting is a normal phase for babies and toddlers, however, when your child turns three biting may indicate other behavioural issues, especially if the biting is a daily occurrence. For infants and toddlers, biting is a form of exploration. Infants use their mouths to explore because sensory-wise, their mouths are the most developed parts of their bodies. Many infants bite when they are excited and over stimulated or experimenting with cause and effect. Biting is also common when your child is teething. Amongst toddlers biting can be a form of communication but it can also be a form of frustration if there are too many challenges or demands put on your child. Many toddlers do not understand that biting can hurt other children. It is not unusual for toddlers to bite as a self-defence strategy as they lack the language or communicative skills to solve a difficult or challenging situation. In these instances, we need to model alternative ways to respond. One of the best ways to cope with biting is to remove the child from the situation. Parents need to let their child know that biting is not okay and that it hurts their friends and remove the child from other children until they have calmed down. It is also important to examine the context in which the biting usually occurs. Is your child hungry, tired or frustrated or does he/she want attention? Try and manipulate the environment so that these factors are reduced and hopefully the biting will be minimised. If his/her biting behaviour continues, particularly if it occurs on a daily basis, you may want to check with your GP to ensure that there are no other causes.

question & answer

with the DOCTOR....

Let our panel of child development experts and doctors answer your questions about raising healthy and happy children. Send your questions to

My toddler keeps getting in and out of her bed for about 1 and a half hours after bedtime. If we try to keep her in her room she screams and wakes our 11 month old child in the room next to hers. My husband has taken to lying down in her room till she falls asleep but this is giving her the upper hand. She used to sleep from 7pm-7am until earlier this year when it all changed. This is turning our family life upside down. I had a very similar experience with my eldest child, in fact I used to sit with her for up to half an hour while she fell asleep playing with my hair. It is not unusual for toddlers who used to sleep well to suddenly develop increased fears especially around bedtime. Toddlers have active imaginations and often find it difficult to differentiate between make believe and the real world. In order to help her to learn to sleep on her own again you need to find out what is causing her fears and reassure her that no matter how vivid it seems, it is not real. Sometimes toddlers benefit from having a nightlight or going to sleep to music. Introduce quiet time around bedtime. She must have dinner atleast thirty minutes before she goes to bed and reduce stimulation. Ensure she is not watching anything on television that may frighten her and reassure her that you are not far away, but most importantly don’t take her out of her bed as this will only reinforce her behaviour. You can maintain closeness initially by sitting outside her room until she falls asleep. I tried this approach and it worked very well with my child. Remember, the first few times you try this she will protest but it will be well worth it in the long run. If all fails then use adult methods of inducing sleep and read her a book or have her read or look at pictures by herself with you next to her up until she is confident enough to do it on her own.

At what point do I need to get some professional help with toilet training my son? He is now 4 years old and deliberately delays going to the toilet up until it is too late. I know he understands the urge to make number 2 as he usually treats farting as a game and refuses to go to the toilet when we ask him. I understand your frustration. It is important to remember that successful toilet training can only take place with the voluntary cooperation of your child. As you know all too well, battling with a strong-willed toddler or preschooler inevitably leads to certain failure and lots of frustration. Children hold onto their bowel movements for a number of reasons. For some it is a matter of control and this is often the case when other things in their world seem to be out of their control particularly at times of significant change such as beginning a new preschool, the birth of a sibling, or moving house. It is important to transfer the control back to your child so that he feels that it is his decision to use the toilet. Remind him that he will probably need to wear a nappy or pullups until he wants to poo in the toilet. For other children withholding their poo can be induced by fear, it can be quite scary to watch something of themselves disappearing down a toilet. You can encourage him to help you empty his poo out of his nappy into the toilet so that he becomes more familiar with the process. Some children need additional incentives beyond praise and sticker charts are good as they are a great visual reminder. He may be holding on because it hurts to poo. Constipation could be another possible cause, especially when his diet is low on fibre and liquids. If all else fails then seek professional help.


family matters

Father’s playing their role The role women have played in raising their children has been nothing but exemplary. Women in our generation and those past have championed the cause and have made it almost second nature in raising their kids single handedly. Lebo Chauke takes a closer look at the importance of a father figure in your child’s life.


he kind of man who is present in their child’s life is the kind that deserves special mention and attention on father’s day this year. A good father deserves a good “thank You” every now and then. You can get practically anything for him, the beauty with buying men presents is that they appreciate almost anything. He doesn’t even have to be your father, he can be a brother or a friend who is truly championing the cause. The best gifts are those that come from the heart and a home-made greeting card from a child naturally warms the heart. Teach your child to say “thank you” on special days such as father’s day and birthdays. Fatherhood is tricky nowadays as the family structure is gradually changing from what it used to be, some fathers do not live with their children, they are not even with their child’s mother anymore. For any child, the most important gift that you as a parent can give is love. Good parenting begins with unconditional love, your child needs it and the father-in-you needs it too. Children are very fortunate to have both parents show interest in their lives. The importance of a mother’s role is naturally obvious and unfortunately the father’s role is at times undermined. Being a parent these days is not the same as before when a father’s role revolved


around disciplining the child. The importance of your presence in his or her life is irreplaceable, irrespective of whether you only see your child once every six months or you live with them. A son needs a father to teach them how to be a man and most critically, a daughter needs a father in order to understand how men should treat women. You are the first man in her life and the way a father treats his daughter will lay the foundations of how she will expect to be treated by men in the future. Being a father who does not live with the child does not make one a bad father, parenting has no manual and it is within every man to be a good father. Fatherhood involves spending time with your child and involving them in your life. Children need attention and they need to understand that there is a time for everything and their time is also as important as work or study time. Do not behave as though you are doing the mother a favour by being present in your child’s life, neither should you involve the child in your arguments. The way you treat your child’s mother is being closely watched by your child, the way you talk to her is how your child is going to talk to her. Teach your son how to be a man by being exemplary. Teach him how to talk to other people especially how to talk to and treat

family matters

women. Teach your son to be free to talk about his feelings by openly talking about yours, say so when you are happy and explain to him the reasons for your sadness. Children learn much more from what you do rather than what you say. Respect your child’s mother, that’s how your daughter will learn to respect the both of you but most importantly, it teaches her to respect herself. Try not to disapprove or show anger towards your child in public, rather leave it till you are both alone and calmly explain where they went wrong. Whenever you as a father need to be stern and discipline the child always be prescriptive and remember that there is a lesson in every mistake; mention the mistake and what the child could have done or said instead. The lesson is usually learnt in that way. Your daughter and son need to grow up proud and self-confident and those are traits which require solid foundations and it all begins with a generous dose of fatherly love.

“Children learn much more from what you do rather than what you say”

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Learning disabilities in children


t can be an uphill battle having to face the reality of a learning disability in your child. It can be very troubling having to think about what it all means and how will it affect your child’s future and if it means that your child will have to go to a special school for the rest of their learning life. Most parents are not sure of what a learning disability is. Don’t be alarmed when your child falls behind and takes time to learn something that his or her peers have already overcome. This is not necessarily a learning disability but it helps to find out further what exactly is a learning disorder.


Learning disability and learning disorder are umbrella terms used to describe a problem that one has when it comes to certain learning areas. Problems with reading or writing, listening or paying constant attention, maths problems, problems with reasoning and speech are all forms of learning disorders. A learning disorder does not mean that one is slow or dumb, it basically means that the brain is wired differently and it needs a different teaching style. A learning disorder has nothing to do with intelligence. A child who struggles to read might excel in writing and colouring, or a child who has a problem learning to talk can be excellent at recognis-

development ing and matching colours. Learning disorders differ from one child to the next and should be treated per case. It is very important to identify a learning disorder early in life so that the child can be given special attention early on. Without the proper support, a child can be led to believe that they a dumb and this will have permanent effects on their confidence, especially since a learning disorder cannot be cured as it not a sickness. A learning disorder can be identified by professionals through looking at differences between how well your child is doing in school and comparing it to how well they could be doing. By making this contrast they are assessing your child’s intelligence and ability and comparing it to how well your child is doing now. It is not only professionals that can identify a learning disorder, a learning disorder is most noticeable from grade 1 and teachers should be sensitive to such children who are behind when it comes to certain activities. As to what it is that causes a learning disability, doctors are still not sure and many reasons are given. A learning disability can be attributed to the brain lacking in something. It can be an injury to the brain or developmental issues in the brain, chemical imbalances and even blood line are but some of the things that have been known to be the cause of the disorder. The confusing part is that there are people with chemical imbalances and deficiencies in the brain but do not suffer from any learning disabilities. There are a lot of things which are suspected to also cause this, from birth complications to pregnancy defects, alcohol abuse or smoking while pregnant. Premature infants’ brains are more prone to injury because they have not fully developed and learning disabilities are common in premature children. Multiple factors are seen to cause learning disorders but the environment within which a child with a learning disorder lives has far greater effects on the seriousness of the disorder than anything else. Changing the learning environment and the home environment in order to accommodate the disorder can actually lessen the impact the disorder has on the child and they can live and grow to the best of their potential.

Charlize Grinnell writes about learning disabilities in children.

Signs and symptoms • • • •

Problems pronouncing words Trouble finding the right word Difficulty rhyming Trouble learning the alphabet, numbers, colours, shapes, days of the week • Difficulty following directions or learn ing routines • Difficulty controlling crayons, pencils, and scissors or coloring within the lines • Trouble with buttons, zippers, snaps, learning to tie shoes Sourced:

Types of disabilities Dyslexia

Problems reading, writing, spelling, speaking. Dyscalculia Difficulty with doing math problems, understanding time, using money.


Difficulty with writing, with handwriting, spelling, organizing ideas.

Dyspraxia (Sensory Integration Disorder) Difficulty with fine motor skills, hand–eye coordination, balance, manual dexterity.


Difficulty with language, problems understanding spoken language, poor reading comprehension.

Auditory Processing Disorder

Difficulty hearing differences between sounds, problems with reading, comprehension and language.

Visual Processing Disorder

Difficulty interpreting visual information, problems with reading, math, maps, charts, symbols, pictures Sourced:


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book reviews

introducing children to the wonderful

world of books S

tory telling has been a part of most of our growing lives. I remember the times when the lights used to go out and my mom would keep us company with one story after the other till we all went to bed one by one. Even though I come from a big family, it was usually only around storytelling time that you would find all of us together in one place. Storytelling has the power to bring people together in one place and apart from those stories that we grew up listening to, there is a good story almost anywhere but the best place to find a good story is in books. We are living in modern times and books unfortunately are seen as boring when compared to modern technology such as cell-phones and computers. There are so many books that one usually doesn’t know which ones to pick and this makes it even more difficult to teach a child the wonderful world that is in books. With everything that is standing in the way of reading, the value of reading is still irreplaceable. Reading gives information on almost anything, from health to sports. The brain is a muscle and reading builds this muscle to be strong and healthy with information. Teach your child the importance of reading by reading with them. Have a special time when you can read to him and her and make it family tradition so that they can learn to read on their own. Teach them the love of books and always buy books that can stimulate their interests by buying books that are full of pictures. Read to them out loud, act out the story so as

to stimulate the imagination and ask a lot of questions because they need to be part of the story. By constantly using the imagination, reading stimulates creativity, develops speech and general aptitude as it requires your child to constantly interpret the story the way they understand it. To say that South Africa is not a reading nation is putting it mildly. The low levels of literacy in the country are to blame for most of the problems we have and it is said that if you want to hide something from a South African then hide it in a book. To build a better country for our children we need to let them make their own informed choices and that is something that is nurtured from a very young age. You as a parent need to lead by example and read yourself. When you go out shopping you must get used to buying a book for both you and your child. There are a lot of second hand book shops that you can get books from at very cheap prices. South Africa desperately needs a reading culture now more than ever. our grand parents are illeterate, our parents are partially schooled and the youth just refuses to read. The future is in the hands of each and everyone of the preschoolers out there and in order for them to realise it we need to give them a good foundation. Get a book and introduce your child to the power of the imagination. Read your child a good story today.


Is Your Child Being Bullied? A

n old friend of mine told me that he used to hide in the oven every morning so as to avoid going to crèche. Little did I understand that his reasons for attempted bunking are shared by many crèche going children. His parents of course also did not take the time to understand his strange behaviour and he was dragged to crèche kicking and screaming each morning. Many people are convinced that bullying only starts from primary school. Well, you will be shocked to know that children in crèche also deal with the problems of being bullied and it is your responsibility as a parent to identify signs of a bullying or bullied child and stop


the behaviour before it gets too late. Children need love and protection, especially those that are being bullied. Bullying is intimidating behaviour by one child or children on another for whatever reason and it usually happens over time. A scratch or scar from crèche is usually not a sign of bullying if it happens once in a long while but persistent bruises should be seen as a warning signal. There are three forms of bullying that are most common. Physical bullying is the easiest to recognise and involves punching and hitting; verbal bullying involves teasing and name calling and can even go as far as racial names and lastly non-verbal or emotional bullying which leaves the

cover story worst kind of scars, is characterised by intimidating gestures and social exclusion. This is according to a child development expert Dr. Olweus in Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do. Children who bully have little, if any consideration, for the feelings of others. These children are often physically strong and usually witness violent and aggressive behaviour at home and then adopt that behaviour and practice it in crèche on other defenceless children. Bullies are not born but are made, bullies at preschool level observe the behaviour of their parents or a close relative or even their minder. The exposure of a pre-school child is limited to a few people and their behaviour would be copying what they usually see on a regular basis. You as a parent should be very conscious of your behaviour around your child and should always pay attention to how you speak and treat other people as this is closely watched by your child. Children with disabilities almost always fall prey to ruthless bullies for obvious reasons. A bully preys on the easiest target and puts fear in them by constantly belittling and mocking their physical appearance, character or behaviour. The sad truth is that children who

child: Uninvolved or aggressive parents, lack of rules and the media are but some of the causes for bullying. There are also warning signs that you must look out for if you suspect your child is being bullied. Some of the warning signs include: if your child comes home with signs of a fight, torn clothes or constant missing belongings, if they are afraid to go to creche for no good reason, if suddenly they are moody, struggle to sleep or have constant nightmares. If you suspect that your child is being bullied, talk to them and try and get them to explain their normal day at crèche and if there is anything that you as their parent should know. Ask them who is not nice to them and why they think that it is happening to them. Try not to judge but to understand from your child’s perspective so as to gain his or her trust. The next step would be to talk with their teachers and have them explain your kid’s normal day in crèche, who he/she spends their time with and whether they sleep, eat or play as other children do. As educators and parents it is your responsibility to make sure that children have the best time at creche. A happy healthy child is one that grows and learns in a fun and safe environment. If you feel that a child is

“Bullies need to understand and learn to be sensitive to other people’s feelings, whereas bullied children need to be listened to and reassured that there is absolutely nothing wrong that they did and that they shouldn’t live in fear”

Lebo Chauke tackles bullying in creche and the long time effects it has on a child.

bully are at a high risk of dropping out of school and due to their intolerance of the rule of law, are more than likely to end up doing crime. From toy snatching to intimidation, there is no need for violence to make one a bully. Victims of bullying are also at risk of having permanent scars such as low self esteem. Bullying also hampers their ability to learn and changes their general outlook on school to a negative, fear filled one. Bullies need to understand and learn to be sensitive to other people’s feelings, whereas bullied children need to be listened to and reassured that there is absolutely nothing wrong that they did and that they shouldn’t live in fear. Counselling is very important for both these children. For the bully, counselling is critical as there are deep rooted problems from which their behaviour comes. For the victim, counselling is also important, especially if the bullying has been going on for a long time. There are a number of reasons why children bully and these reasons may differ from child to

being denied their happiness at creche then there are organisations that can help you deal with this situation, especially when you feel things have gone too far. Talk to the teachers or principal and if that doesn’t help then waste no time in consulting your nearest Social Development offices.


financial Important facts

Saving for your child’s future Suzanne Swart looks into building a strong culture of saving and how you can teach your child to handle money.

good financial decisions by putting in extra money into their account. Children know more than you think and the worst decision that you as a parent can make is hide money from your child. There is absolutely nothing wrong with loving money as long as that money is in the form of interest gained from a savings or an investment account. The most basic way to start is to buy your child a piggy-bank(spaar box) for all the small change. Encourage him/her to collect all the change that they can , even 5cent coins,and put it in their piggy bank. Teach him/her to keep a goal in mind and to save towards that goal, it can be a toy or anything that they want. By doing this they will understand to be patient and to spend wisely. most importantly they will understand that money gives them the power to decide how to use it.


inister of finance Mr Pravin Gordan said, “South Africa’s low savings rate is holding the country back compared to its peers” ,at the South African Saving Institute’s 10 year anniversary. Poor financial awareness and a “consumerist society” are blamed for the country’s poor savings performance. The country’s culture towards money needs to change in order for there to be meaningful change in the economy. This change needs to start with the children who are the future of our economy. Children should be introduced to and taught about money as soon as they can count. Money affords people decision making opportunities and the same goes for children. There are more than 10 banks in the country all with their unique products and different


options of saving and investing. As soon as your child is born they have an identity number so take their birth certificate, your proof of residence and identity book and go to any one of the banks and open a longterm investment product for your child. You can either do it as a further education fund or as part of your child’s inheritance. Ask for a banker to explain the different transactional products structured specifically for children’s needs and give the child the power to make the decision in terms of which product they want as soon as they are old enough to understand how money works and that is usually around 4 to 5 years old. Children need to understand the value of putting money away every month and what interest is and how it works. Always try and encourage a savings culture and reward

Money Tips for you and your Child.

• Teach your child to set financial goals.

• Teach your child how advertisements work and how to interpret them.

• Take your child grocery shopping each chance you get and advice on proper spending and the difference between needs and wants.

Always ask for your child’s opinion on money issues.

Children must always be kept in the know when it comes to how much is being spent on them (school funds, field trips, clothes, games and toys).

reach the pre school market in south africa

Crèche magazine is the leading authority on children development and it is an independent source of knowledge, advice and analysis. Written for parents, the magazine provides the latest news and insider intelligence in the development of children at crèche level.

CONTACTS: onesevenone communications P O Box 4670 Pretoria GP 0001 tel: +27 11 024 6451 / 084 343 8197


SAFETY IN YOUR CHILDS CRECHE Thando Ncube looks at the minimum basic requirements for a safe creche and what parents should look out for.


t goes without saying that most parents trust a creche with the safety of their child, knowing that in a couple of hours they expect to be back and find their child as they left them. Every morning parents take their children into a crèche and trust that care-givers will take care of them as if they were their own. We all fear that dreaded call from the child’s crèche telling you that your child has been hurt or injured and yet parents seldom ask in detail how safe the crèche is, beyond what the eye can see. It is the responsibility of the crèche to guarantee the safety of its children and to safeguard them against any harm. The caregiversthemselvesmustbeawareofanypossible hazards and must take counter measures to minimise, if not eliminate, the hazard be-


fore anyone is harmed. The reality is that many of the workers themselves have little, if any, training in taking care of children. The sad truth is that no parent wants to admit that they leave their child under the care of mother figures rather than trained caregivers. The problem with mother figures is that they are good for the parent’s piece of mind but not best for the child’s development. A creche must put in place basic safety measures such as emergency numbers on walls and an accident log book where all accidents are recorded so as to reduce future accidents. Parents must be notified as soon as possible after accidents have occurred no matter how serious they are. The crèche that you take your child to must have a good working relationship with the local

doctor or clinic. Should your child’s crèche have a swimming pool, make sure that it is kept covered at all times when not in use. All creches must be registered with the Department of Social Development to ensure that they meet the minimum basic safety requirements. An emergency evacuation drill should be in place and regularly tested for emergencies such as fires. There must be a first aid kit well stocked at all times and all care-givers must have basic first aid skills. The safety of your child in creche is the responsibility of the caregivers but the creche that you as a parent choose for your child makes a world of difference and it is your responsibility to make sure that your child’s creche is safe.

july calendar Please send your events to and include your contacts.

MOYO ZOO LAKE WITH FREE KIDS WORKSHOPS Date: EVERY Sat and Sun Venue: Princess Wales Drive, Parkview Johannesburg Time: 10h30 - 15h30 FREE creative art space for children. Come and play, create, learn African dances, listen to stories, learn traditional African games and make things while mom and dad enjoy themselves at the restaurant

According to Mr. Nelson Mandela, the road that guided us to the free South Africa that we know today is paved with blood, sweat and tears. Solomon Mahlangu doesn’t know what freedom is, Chief Albert Luthuli Will never know how it feels to cast a vote and Robert Sobukwe is not aware of equality in South Africa. Mr. Nelson Mandela as the first black president of South Africa is the embodiment of all who fought for liberation in the country. He carried the hopes of many to lead them to the Union Buildings and now we as a country celebrate his life not only for all that he has done, but for all those who have fought for us, more especially those who paid the ultimate price for freedom. As a sign of respect for freedom all South Africans are urged to donate themselves to helping others on Madiba’s birthday every year. On 18 July 2012 Madiba is turning 94 and to commemorate the 67 years he dedicated to fighting for equality everyone is urged to spend at-least 67 minutes of their day helping others in any shape, form or way. A special song for Madiba’s birthday will be sung around the world at the same time on his birthday at 08:05am. Learn the words to the song and help make this day a special day for a very special father. Happy Birthday to you X 2 Happy Birthday dear Tata Happy Birthday to you We love you Tata X 2 We love you dear Tata Happy birthday to you. Nelson Mandela Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela. Ha

honayatshwanang le wena. x2 Ha honayatshwanang le wena, ha honayatshwanang le wena. X2 Happy birthday Madiba.Happy birthday Madiba. Ha honayatshwanang le wena. X2 Ha honayatshwanang le wena, ha honayatshwanang le wena. X2 Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela. Ha honayatshwanang le wena. Ha honayatshwanang le wena, ha honayatshwanang le wena. X2 Nelson Mandela thinasiyakuthandaunguTatawethu.UTatawethu. Nelson Mandela thinasiyakuthanda.UnguTatawethu.UTatawethu. Nelson Mandela thinasiyakuthandaunguTatawethu.UTatawethu. Nelson Mandela thinasiyakuthanda.UnguTatawethu.UTatawethu. Happy birthday Nelson Mandela unguTatawethu.UTatawethu. Happy birthday Nelson Mandela unguTatawethu.UTatawethu. Happy birthday Nelson Mandela unguTatawethu.UTatawethu. Happy birthday Nelson Mandela unguTatawethu.UTatawethu. Nelson Mandela thinasiyakuthandaunguTatawethu.UTatawethu. Nelson Mandela thinasiyakuthanda.UnguTatawethu.UTatawethu. HIP HIP… HOORAY!!!

SPACE TRAVEL FOR KIDS AT THE PLANETARIUM Date: EVERY Sat and Sun Venue: Empire Rd, Parktown Johannesburg Time:10h30 am Cost: 18 pp Ages: 5 - 8 years Space travel for kids with Thomas the Astronomer in his giant rocket, to the game reserve, then on to the Moon and beyond! For more information please contact 011 717 1390 WIND & WATER HOLIDAY PROGRAMME Date: 23 - 06 July Venue: Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Newtown Time:10h00 am Cost: R10 per child R20 Adults Sci-Bono is the only full service career centre in Gauteng. Opens 6 days a week, the centre offers career counselling, guidance and education to all learners and educators. The centre offers contructive play for pre-schooler and a venue for children’s parties. URBAN ARTS PLATFORM’S BATTLE IN THE CITY Date: 28 July Venue: Anstley bld, Johannesburg CBD


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policy & practice

“the first 5 years of a child’s life shape their future’’

Early Learning For Every Child O

Ms Bathabile Dlamini gives a key note address on the state of early childhood development in the country.

n the 27th of March 2012, Minister of Social Development Ms Bathabile Dlamini gave a key note address on the state of the country’s Early Childhood Development (ECD). Hosted in East London in the Eastern Cape Province, it was attended, among others, by the Minister of Women, Children and Social Development Ms Lulu Xingwana, MECs from Social Development as well as the Director-General Mr Vusi Madonsela. The address was aimed at identifying difficulties the country is facing in ECD. Research has shown that the first 5 years of a child’s life shapes their future, a good foundation is therefore imperative as early as possible and now the Department has sought to link their ECD campaign with international standards that recognise the first 1000 days between inception and the baby’s second birthday as important towards eradicating the triple threat challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality. There has been a steady progress in the number of children who have access to ECD centres. Over 836 000 children are benefiting from creche services in the country. By December last year the number of creches in

the country had increased from 18 800 to 19 500 according to the Minister. These figures are by no means a true reflection of the state of creches in the country. The Department aims to roll out a two-fold strategy. The strategy first aims to integrate other services from other arms of the state such as the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the National Development Agency (NDA). Secondly, an education campaign that is aimed at maximising awareness of the importance of creches in the communities, this will also be linked with other Non Profit initiatives that have the same goals. The education campaign will also include those organisations which are looking after disadvantaged and needy children as well as child-headed households.The Minister highlighted the importance of implementing plans for the universalisation of creches in order to move it from a privately run business to a more public education centre with a shared curriculum. This shift will allow the Department to recognise and support creches that are in rural communities and focus on child headed families in those very communities. A collaborative working relationship is important

and that is why the Minister has identified other Departments such as Basic Education, Social Development, Health, Agriculture as well as Sports and Recreation, to work together towards realising the same goals.

The Minister’s strategy All creches must operate within the laws of •the country All people who work with children must •be screened to ensure that they are not child abusers or sexual offenders

transformation by reviewing subsi•diesEnsure to ensure standardisation up service standards and train care•giversDrawto meet those standards. Develop a common and coherent ECD •curriculum


community focus

Mai Mai Khuthala Pre School


he name Mama Lucy Ngubane didn’t mean anything to me when I first heard of it. I am sure to many it also doesn’t ring a bell but what me and you don’t know hardly affects the work that she has been doing. To over a hundred impoverished children Mama Lucy Ngubane is a care giver, a mother and a counsellor, a teacher and a nurturer. She started off as a street seller and after seeing the plight of children in her area resolved to looking after them. Against all the odds, this woman has been taking care of our future and putting smiles on little faces since 1995. Mai-Mai Khuthala pre-school now has over a hundred children between the ages of 1 and 6 under the care of Mama Lucy Ngubane and 6 other workers. Due to the number of impoverished families in her community Mama LucyNgubane decided to open up a day care centre in her own home. For the first two years she offered her services free of charge. Due to overcrowding, she had to move firstly to a nearby park then she moved to Jeppestown community hall in 1997. By this time she couldn’t afford running the pre-school for free so she decided to charge R10 per


child and even though R10 is not much there were still those who couldn’t afford it yet she never turned their children away and treated them as her own. The number of children was always growing so she had to move again; this time she found a beer hall in the Mai Mai precinct. Dubbed Ezinyangeni, the Mai Mai Market on corner Anderson and Berea street is home to the biggest concentration of traditional healers and shops in Johannesburg. The market place is a rich spiritual and cultural preservation of traditional knowledge through their trade in traditional healing herbs, animal hides, cultural clothing and is now a tourist attraction. Most of the people who work there are traditional healers and the precinct also houses them. The 176 units are home to their families and there are roughly around 600 people who have made it their permanent home. Any place named “The Muti Market” is no place for children and the families who live there were more than happy to share the building with Mama Lucy Ngubane and her pre-school. Now she operates the Mai Mai Khuthala pre-school from the precinct whose name she also used to name the crèche after.

At the moment the pre-school charges between R200R250 on a monthly basis but most of the learners housed at the pre-school come from impoverished homes and again cannot afford to pay the fees. The pre-school is also reliant on donations and any form of help is welcomed. Numerous organisations are working together to try and help lessen the burden on Mama Lucy Ngubane and her 6 co-workers. It is often said that children are the future of society and yet it is a shame that there are those in this day and age who are still so disadvantaged that they lack the basic facilities that will aid in their growth and development. Even after almost 20 years of being in business Mai Mai Mai Khuthala is far from being a haven for children. It currently operates with only two working toilets and buckets for potty training. It has a stove with only a single plate working and these are but some of the challenges they are facing, keeping in mind that they look after over a hundred children. The shortage of basic educational materials such as pencils, paper, colouring pencils, toys and paints not only undermines the learning process but it also impedes the development of her students and our future. The situation at Mai Mai Khuthala pre-school is by no means unique, in fact, there are pre-schools around the country who would look at Mai Mai Khuthala and think of how lucky they are to even have a simple thing

such as a roof over their heads. The pre-school is currently trying to raise funds that will allow them to renovate so as to meet the requirements set by the Social Department before they are eligible to receive some form of grants from the government. The situation at Mai Mai Khuthala may be greatly improved by acquiring more volunteers and more resource materials. If you have not as yet made plans on how to spend your 67 minutes or more on Mandela Day this year, spare a thought for crèches like Mai Mai Khuthala, your donations will be greatly appreciated, whether you donate your time, clothes, money or old books, stationery or anything you think might help, as long as you do it with love. Mama Lucy Ngubane’s journey should be an inspiration to everyone on Mandela Day and beyond. We should celebrate her life and achievements through learning from her and helping where we can. Mama put it best when she said “Do not do it for me or for Nelson Mandela, do not do it for the children either, do it for yourself out of the goodness of your own heart” If you want to get in touch with Mai Mai Khuthala you may visit the website: www.onecrecheatatime.wordpress. com it will provide more details on how you could be of service to the future. For more information Contact Shruthi Nair at: or 0749391582


The Lunch box Packing your child’s lunch with Asanda Abraham. The do’s and dont’s of healthy eating at creche level.

Snack Time Tips Essential nutrients and what they do for the body: It is good at feeding the body’s tissues •withIronoxygen. Beef, spinach and raisins are good sources of iron.

the immune system. Whole •grainZincfoodsStrengthens and red meat are but some of the foods rich in it.

Calcium Strong bones and teeth need calcium. •Calcium is found in oranges, orange juice and dairy products

Potassium It helps regulate blood pressure. •Excellent sources are avocados, prune juice, bananas, and tomato juice.

Magnesium Good at keeping the heart rate •steady. Peanut butter and potatoes are potent with magnesium.

• Vitamin A Excellent at fighting off infections. Foods to be avoided when packing your child’s lunchbox:


hildren spend most of their time at crèche which is also where most of their meals are had. At best, parents only have a say over two meals a day: breakfast and supper. It is only during weekends that one has full control over their child’s nourishment. Most crèches do not understand the importance of drawing up a healthy daily or weekly eating plan that caters for children at different stages of their growth. A child’s diet should take into account the age of the child, medical history and allergies. This is especially important for children who are still learning to speak. A crèche must draw up a daily or weekly eating plan or menu and make it available to parents. Drawing up an eating plan does need a nutritions expert, but any creche which cannot afford an expert can do this, keeping in mind basic nutritional needs of children such as fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods that promote a healthy lifestyle early on. A list of the basic foods and nutrients that are important for a child’s development are


available on the internet or at your local clinic or hospital. You may also find a list of allergy causing foods.This is the first step towards good health and nutrition. Children make up almost half of South Africa’s population and most of them (68%) live in poverty. Most children in South Africa suffer from malnutrition, so at least one good meal a day goes a long way towards good growth and development. Malnutrition has a negative impact on the development of the brain. According to UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children Report: 1 in 10 South African children suffer from severe malnutrition, half of these being pre-school children. The report also states that a lack of Vitamin A causes diarrhoea which is the leading cause of fatalities in pre-school children. Vitamin A helps fight off infections and the mildest of infections can be life threatening in the absence of vital vitamins. Nutrients and vitamins found in healthy foods are important for child development.

Fast foods. Take away left overs do not •belong in your child’s lunch box. Cool drinks, Chips, burgers.

drinks. Avoid fizzy drinks and stick to •100Cool percent juice, water or milk. Sweets and chocolates. There is no space for •sweets and chocolates in the lunchbox.

Foods to include when preparing your child’s lunchbox: Corn. Pop corn is high in antioxidants •andPop B Vitamins. It is a healthy wholegrain snack. Fruit Juice. Always choose 100% when •packing juice for your child’s lunchbox. and Vegetables. Fruits are best on an •emptyFruitsstomach and always include at least one vegetable for your child in every meal.

Choose biscuits which are high in •fibreBiscuits. as a healthy fun snack.

BEST START A toxic cocktail of poverty, illiteracy, racial disparity, violence and massive incarceration is sentencing millions of black children to dead end, powerless and hopeless lives and threatens to undermine the past 18 years of racial and social progress. The only time I will get free education is if I go to prison. Give me a Best Start.

BEST START is campaigning for FREE access to quality Early Years Education for millions of poor black children.



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