Food provision challenges facing early childhood development centres in two Cape Town townships
Thorogood, Camilla Renée
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Early childhood has been identified as a critical period for providing nutritional intervention, with nutritional adequacy during the first 1000 days having long term implications for human development. South Africa’s policy environment accordingly aims to support the development of all children through providing services supporting care and nutrition of children so that ‘no one is left behind’. However, the reality is that for the economically marginalised who live in poverty, these services are inaccessible and the whereabouts of many children, especially those under 5, remain unknown to the state. This study looks at township childcare facility as a key intervention point for nutrition provision, documents the obstacles and challenges they face in securing food for the children in their care and describes the strategies they use to combat these challenges. Using a mixed method approach, data were gathered on all ECDs operating in two Cape Town townships – Vrygrond, a semi-formal township, and Sweet Home Farm, a deeply informal settlement – and a typology was developed which represented the differentiation between these informal businesses in terms of a continuum of connectedness and disconnectedness with the regulatory environment.