St Francis Educare moves down the road

St Francis standing in front of their new building that they will be relocating to soon.

St Francis Educare Centre will be moving to a smaller space down the road from their original space.

They will not be closing down but they will be relocating to 20 Kabeljou Street, Strandfontein. It is one minute from their original space at St Francis of the Anglican Church in Strandfontein.

“The set up would be more homely and convenient for the staff. After hours we need to pack up and down at our original space since we are moving soon. It can take a toll on a person at times,” said said principal Geraldine Lambrechts.

St Francis Educare Centre was the first creche that was established by the Grassroots Educare Trust, that provided a school-readiness programme, Grade R, to roughly 1 500 preschoolers, said Ms Lambrechts (“St Francis turns 38” Plainsman September 18, 2019).

“Many years back we built the classrooms here. We had 20 year’s occupational rights which expired on Thursday March 23. We have been scouting around for a premises for our children including consultation with the ward councillor. Initially it was a challenge but we are officially moving,” she said.

They have 80 children, six full-time staff and two students, she said.

They’ve been at the Anglican Church for 42 years. In August 1981 they were the longest existing registered grade R which is what they started off with, said Ms Lambrechts.

They built four classrooms and an office at the Anglican Church.

“We have mixed feelings but we’re excited for the new phase. This means independence for us too. This has been our routine every year and we have to replace it,” she said.

Their new space has three bedrooms, a lounge and dining room, kitchen, separate entrance and a garage with a big courtyard. All of these spaces will be considered and used for learning to take place. They are in the process of renovating the space, she said.

Care-giver Natasha Fortune said she felt relieved.

“It’s nice to have your space and work with the children. The feeling is exciting, happy and I can’t wait to be in my own class.

Care-giver Tamsyn Florus said she started working at St Francis as a mom and was empowered to take her skills further.

“I completed my ECD level 5 training. I am currently the grade RR teacher at St Francis, I was fortunate to be selected last year to be part of the Little Stars pilot programme the WCED introduced. I am excited for the future and this exciting milestone for St Francis,” she said. “We had many challenges but I believe we are stepping into a great time in our new journey.”

The courtyard will be under a roof and closed for a common area for activities. They’ve submitted plans for it to be enclosed so that the parking can be for parents, said Ms Lambrechts.