Little Lambs Christian Educare is set to start building a double-storey block of six new classrooms as well as an aftercare facility for the children of Imizamo Yethu.
Construction should start on the R7.5 million project in June with completion envisaged for the 2025 intake, according to Elke Zwicker, of Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt, a trust that will source funding for the entire project.
Founded in 1999 by the Llandudno based Van Der Walt family who have been trustees of Seeds Trust, the governing body, since then, Little Lambs provides preschool education and food for 275 children, from babies to 5-year-olds.
The school, which is permitted to have up to 309 children, is tucked behind Silikamva High School on the upper slopes of Skoorsteenberg. The new classrooms will be built in the northern corner of the preschool’s premises on part of its existing playground.
Roger Falls said Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt, provided financial support for Little Lambs while the Seeds Trust, of which he is a director, governs the non-profit public benefit organisation.
The community had been encouraging Little Lambs to provide an afterschool for children aged 7 to 13 years for a long time as it would give children leaving primary school after lunch somewhere safe to do their homework and play until their parents collected them in the evenings, he said.
“Most parents work and so there is nowhere for the children to go except to the streets. And that’s why we started Little Lambs, to keep them off the streets and safe,” he said.
Marlis Schaper, a “swallow” who has spent six months in Germany and the summer in Hout Bay for the past 36 years, has done fund-raising through Kinderhilfe-Kapstadt since 2000.
“I firmly believe that when the Little Lambs children leave preschool in the afternoon they should go to a daycare centre. This will ensure that the children get the opportunity to grow socially, emotionally and to develop physically so that they can reach their full potential,” she said.
Mayoral committee mayor for spatial planning and environment Eddie Andrews confirmed that a land-use clearance had been issued and that a building plan application for a new double-storey classroom building had been accepted last month.
Mr Falls said they would probably re-locate some of their Grade R pupils to the new classrooms.
“Having the additional classrooms will enable us to arrange for a better principal‘s office, staffroom and medical restroom,” he said of the squashed area at the entrance to the school.
Mr Falls said the school operated on a R3.17 million budget with the Department of Social Development and the Western Cape Education Department covering 40% of the costs. Another 40% is covered by school fees with the balance coming from Kinderhilfe Kapstadt German and Swiss sponsors and funds raised by the Seeds Trust.
Mr Falls said that due to inflationary costs, Little Lambs was becoming more dependent on donations and sponsorships. He said that the food alone cost R508 000 a year. The school employs two cooks, 13 teachers working from 11 classrooms, a few foreign interns and five support staff.
Contact Little Lambs at 021 791 1748, 079 170 9291, firstname.lastname@example.org www.littlelambs.org.za