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Private preschools, crèches may reopen immediately, court rules

06 July 2020 - 13:55 By Nonkululeko Njilo
The Solidarity Occupational Guild for Social Workers and the Solidarity Support Centre for Schools won the right for private nursery schools and day care centres to reopen their doors immediately. The court awarded costs to the organisations.
The Solidarity Occupational Guild for Social Workers and the Solidarity Support Centre for Schools won the right for private nursery schools and day care centres to reopen their doors immediately. The court awarded costs to the organisations.
Image: 123RF/rawpixel

Early childhood development centres, including private nursery schools and day care centres, may reopen immediately — provided they can do so safely.

This was confirmed in a ruling by the North Gauteng High Court on Monday. The judgment comes after the department of social development announced in June that children would not be allowed back at creche or partial care facilities until the minister had gazetted the final date and conditions under which they could reopen.

Judge Hans Fabricius declared this to be unlawful on Monday and said there was no further reason to prevent children from returning to school. The matter was taken to court by the Solidarity Occupational Guild for Social Workers and the Solidarity Support Centre for Schools (SCS). 

“We are delighted with the ruling. It means thousands of parents will be able to place their children in the care of their competent teachers again for the stimulation and learning that children so desperately need,” said Marisa Engelbrecht, sector head of the Solidarity Occupational Guild for Social Workers.

“What is even more reassuring, is that these children will now be in a safe environment again and that the children dependent of feeding schemes will again be able to learn and develop optimally with food in their stomachs.”

The occupational guild and the SCS argued that nursery schools and day care centres were fully equipped and ready to receive preschoolers in the safe environment they had created.

Fabricius ordered the department to pay Solidarity and the SCS’s legal costs.


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