Gauteng High Court Judge Hans Fabricius has ruled that all private nursery schools offering early childhood development programmes can open their doors immediately if they have adequate safety measures in place.
This judgement is welcome news for many parents as there has been a lot of confusion surrounding the official opening date of Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres and private nursery schools.
Parents who’ve had to go back to work at the beginning of Level 3 lockdown have also been at a loss as to what to do with their little ones .
Mom Martie Gresse Vosloo had to stay home with her little ones because she had no one else to look after her kids. “When will they be opening? If I can’t go to work, I don’t get paid,” she said.
Other parents have had it luckier as they’ve had family members or nannies who could look after their kids. But not everyone has this support structure, or the finances, for a nanny.
Says Natasha Anderson: “I have a really nice nanny looking after my little kids, they love her and I just pay her the same as I used to pay the creche. I will only send them back to school next year. They get sick every two weeks in winter anyway if they attend school, so I’m happy that they get to stay home for now.”
Children have a right to basic education
In an affidavit, Dirk Hermann, the chairperson of the board of directors of Schools Support Centre said they believe that private nursery schools should also be allowed to resume teaching in July, together with the other nursery schools. They say children of all ages have a right to basic education and that the refusal to let these schools reopen denies children of that right.
Benefits of attending nursery school
Sending your child to day care or nursery school isn’t just about having someone to look after them while you’re at work, there are many other benefits for them too. These include:
- Day care can improve the cognitive, vocabulary and social development of your child by providing safe and mentally stimulating spaces to explore, play and learn the rules of social interaction at a pace that meets each child’s individual needs.
- The day care environment will help your child to learn how to form positive and trusting relationships.
- Day care can help enhance your child’s social and emotional development.
- Day care offers play-based learning which is important to enhance your child’s natural curiosity and desire to learn as she finds creative ways to learn.
How moms have been coping without day care and nursery schools
Mom Tammy Jacks says she has been homeschooling her daughter. She says it’s been tough, and she’s had to sacrifice a lot of sleep but she knew that it was only temporary.
She managed to work from home and homeschool her daughter during the lockdown – but luckily her little one will be heading back to school at the end of the week.
“I’ve been coping by getting up early and working until my daughter wakes up, then I’ll work again at night when she goes to bed,” says Tammy. She also exercises with her daughter in the mornings to get a bit of fresh air and to let go of the stress.
Her top tip for moms juggling working from home and keeping a pre-schooler entertained is to not overdo it. If you feel you need to, do take some time out
Tammy says before she starts her work day, she sets out 4 different activities for her daughter that she can rotate. You can do a craft station, build some Lego, and even carve in some TV time for your child. If she can keep herself occupied while you work, this method will be really great for you. Says Tammy: “If your child is a busy body or very demanding of your attention, it’s better to block out time to play with them and rather do your work before they wake up or when they go to bed.”
“My mom and my niece both adore my 4-year-old daughter, so she spends a lot more time with them than with me. I’m so blessed that way,” says Lerato Maetle.
Mom, Rona Stark says she’s still working from home, but she has an awesome nanny to help her with her little one.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.