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28 November 2018
UWC Campus Kids Centre takes childhood care to greater heights

(Published - 28 November 2018)

The University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) Campus Kids Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre has been selected to represent the Western Cape at the 2018 National Development Agency (NDA) Awards in Johannesburg.

The Centre won the award for Best Educare Centre in the Western Cape, in George on 21 November 2018. This win was followed by the selection to participate in the National Development Agency (NDA) Awards which takes place on 11 December 2018.

The NDA awards - supported by the Department of Social Services - takes place annually and recognises best practice and outstanding participation in the Early Childhood Development sector.

Principal of UWC’s Campus Kids, Antoinette Engel, will be representing the Western Cape when she competes against the regional winners of the other eight provinces for the title of best ECD Centre in South Africa.

“We are laying the seeds of the foundation of education. Learners leave to attend primary and high school, then they return to UWC to study,” Engel said proudly.

Campus Kids is an ECD centre that provides an educational developmental learning programme in a safe environment for children aged 2 to 5 years old, and whose parents work at UWC, CPUT and in the surrounding areas.

“We provide an educational program in a safe, loving environment. The centre is registered with the Department of Social Development and operates independently as an NPO on the premises of the University of the Western Cape,” said Principal Engel.

Campus Kids was founded in October 1988 and this year celebrated its 30th anniversary. Over the years it has faced various challenges that have posed a threat to its sustainability.

Engel remembers how she and her staff were involved in long negotiations and spent many late nights preparing to get their building compliant with relevant regulations and to have the centre registered.

In 2016, due to the Fees Must Fall student protests, the centre was forced to relocate off campus and was fortunate enough to find temporary premises at the Bellville-South Methodist Church hall.

Engel entered the centre into the National South African Early Childhood Development Awards as a way to encourage her staff to continue working hard, and to recognise their efforts which contribute to the development of their learners.

“I wanted us to show the world out there who we are and that we are worthy of the recognition, as each one of us - myself, the parent body, little learners and the University - worked extremely hard to make Campus Kids what it is today.” she said.