April 2024.

In an encouraging development for early childhood education in Patensie, the Noxolo ECD Centre has recently undergone significant renovations, leading to the successful acquisition of the required Health & Safety certification. This critical development paves the way for compliance with the Department of Basic Education’s requirements, moving the centre closer to qualifying for educational support funds.

With over 30 years of service in the community, this achievement allows for the Centre’s formal registration with the Department of Basic Education.

The handover event was held on Monday, 22 April, and saw participation from representatives of the Departments of Basic Education and Health, local government officials, and the community that surrounds the Centre, including children, parents, staff, and representatives from Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm.

The renovations, funded by Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, represent a commitment to improving the local community’s future. This project is part of a larger educational initiative by the wind farm, which includes upgrades to twenty ECD Centres, like the recent improvements at Umzamomhle ECD Centre in Hankey, demonstrating an ongoing effort to enhance educational facilities in the area.

The upgrade of this ECD centre, situated in the Gamtoos Valley, included the partitioning of teaching spaces to cater specifically to the developmental needs of 1-2 year olds and 3-4 year olds, enhancements to the kitchen and play areas, and various repairs and improvements. These upgrades have already sparked an increased interest from parents in the community, eager to enrol their children in the Centre and offer their support.

Elizabeth Dwane, Principal of Noxolo ECD Centre, expressed her gratitude, noting the significant impact of the renovations on the Centre’s ability to provide quality education and care. “The partitioning of the room into two sections has greatly facilitated teaching and interaction with the children, tailored to their age groups and educational programmes. The new kitchen facilities have also been a wonderful addition, making meal preparation a joy,” she said.

Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm’s commitment extends beyond infrastructure, encompassing a comprehensive ECD developmental programme that includes practitioner training, mentoring, compliance training, and the provision of essential equipment and resources. This holistic approach aims to foster a supportive and enriching environment for early learning.

Nonini Makhothe, Economic Development Specialist at Jeffreys Bay Wind Farm, highlighted the collaborative effort behind the renovation project. “Through regular engagement with the Centre’s Principal, parents, and local officials, we identified the urgent need for renovations to meet compliance requirements and enhance the facilities. This initiative is a testament to our commitment to supporting the community’s educational needs,” Makhothe stated.

This project underscores the collective commitment to nurturing the potential of Patensie’s youngest residents, setting a strong foundation for their educational journey.