Partial care facilities and early childhood development in Cato Manor.
Partial care is the care of more than six children on behalf of their parents or caregivers for a temporary period during the day and could include overnight care. Access to partial care and Early Childhood Development (ECD) services are important for child development. South Africa does not have minimum standards for provision of ECD and funding for it is limited. A Children's Bill has been proposed to replace the Child Care Act no 74 of 1983. In the proposed Bill, both partial care and early childhood development will be regulated. This study attempted to explore partial care and early childhood development in Cato Manor, an informal settlement in the process of development. The study was qualitative with a sample of twelve facilities selected from partial care facilities in the community. Interviews were conducted with facilitators from the facilities about their experiences and challenges of providing partial care in the community, using a semi structured interview schedule. Observation of the facilities was also made using an observation checklist to ascertain resources and the physical environment. The findings showed that three categories of partial care facilities existed in Cato Manor. The different cateqorles had inequalities in resources, leading to differences in the nature of care and programmes children were offered. The findings indicated that there were problems associated with registration and monitoring of the facilities. Lack of funding was shown to be a big challenge for the facilities. Community efforts of establishing facilities need to be strengthened. The registration process of facilities needs to be simplified and communication between government departments responsible for registration and the facilities improved. Facilitators need assistance to have access to available funding.