The Community Work Programme (CWP) was implemented as a pilot programme in Bushbuckridge and several other municipalities in 2009. The programme is essentially an employment safety net employing 2 200 people in Bushbuckridge within four sectors of community work, these being food security, palliative care, community infrastructure refurbishment and teacher assistance (education). Like many other rural areas, Bushbuckridge also experiences infrastructural, human resource and learning material shortages and backlogs in the education sector. The CWP implementing agency thus intentionally focused their support on reducing stress in the classroom by assigning CWP participants that had completed Grade 12 to assist teachers.
One of the CWP priorities within the education sector is Early Childhood Development (ECD) since this area provides a foundation for the child's learning and social skills later on. The programme has a presence in 30 crèches in Bushbuckridge and, in addition to assigning teacher assistants, also distributed educational toys and materials in September 2011 and assisted in infrastructural repairs and construction at the crèches.
In October 2011, ECD assessments were done by TEBA/Lima, with the aim of implementing a support system that will positively impact on the lives of children and ECD practitioners.
Summary of ECD questionnaire findings
This assessment of early childhood development (ECD) centres supported by the Bohlabela Community Work Programme (CWP) focused on institutional arrangements, infrastructural conditions, and the availability of learning materials and capacity in the crèche.