Centre celebrates milestone anniversary

The CECD team celebrates their 25th anniversary.

A Claremont-based non-profit organisation has been helping children get a solid educational grounding for 25 years – a milestone it celebrated earlier this month.

The Centre for Early Childhood Development’s anniversary bash was held at Tuscany Gardens, in Rylands, on Thursday August 1, attended by various organisations, educational centres and private donors. Cape Town singer Jimmy Nevis kept everyone entertained.

Wanting to improve the standard of early education for vulnerable children in oppressed communities, Professor Eric Atmore, along with Roz Witbooi and Daniel Plaatjies, started the organisation in his garage in Woodstock in 1994 with a fax machine and not much else.

Today the CECD has developed policies and training programmes and works closely with more than 300 pre-schools, daycares and creches reaching about 18 000 children.

Manager of the Disabled Children’s Action Group, Sandra Ambrose, said the organisation had benefited from the centre’s training.

“The training was always aimed at our development as parents who have children with disabilities.”

Community Chest Cape Town’s CEO, Lorenzo Davids, said the centre had brought “innovative” ideas to early childhood development.

Ms Witbooi, the centre’s general manager, has been with the organisation since the beginning and has worked closely with Professor Atmore.

“The first few years have been tough, though afterwards we just grew,” she said.

Professor Atmore paid tribute to the centre’s staff.

“There is so much talent in this country for early childhood development, we have to take it to the African continent, and globally, our programmes are good and staff are good,” he said.