De Beers Kimberley Business Hub has through its Zimele Community Fund financed the renovation Little Creative Minds Crèche. The owner and principal of the institution, Sekaeng Botha was granted two loans to the value of R175 000.00 to upgrade her garage to a fully functional classroom and to build an additional room which is now used as an administration office. The second loan was utilised in the construction of three toilets, to purchase mattresses, playground equipment and structures like swings and slides, and educational toys.
Botha’s passion for education is perhaps not surprising given her background. With over twenty-five years of primary teaching experience, she decided one day, to retire and use her retirement funds to establish an early childhood development centre. Her desire to own a crèche and after school care centre was driven largely by her frustration at the difficulties inherent in the transition of children from preschool into the primary school environment. In her view, children are often not prepared to adequately adjust to a new schooling environment.
“My years of teaching at primary school level frustrated me deeply. You find that in a Grade 1 class, learners are unable to understand simple concepts used in the language of learning and teaching – and you wonder what they were taught, if at all, in preschool,” she said.
“That is why I decided to leave and start my own centre. Thus far, I believe I have done well because if you are to compare Little Creative Minds with any other crèche within this area, you will see a noticeable difference in what these children are taught,” she said.
Established in 2017, Little Creative Minds is one of the best crèches in the city, with suitably qualified and competent teachers and ground staff who have a genuine love for children. The crèche is a caring, fun, neat and stimulating environment with a safe play area where children are supervised. It also offers additional value adding services like a weekly visit from a Child Kineticist who monitors the physical and cognitive development of the children.
Little Creative Minds has currently 41 children enrolled from the ages of two to five. It has six staff members consisting of two teachers, an admin officer, a cook, a cleaner and a gardener.
“I truly have De Beers to thank because I do not think I would be where I am today. I started out as a low-cost crèche and was ultimately working at a loss,” she said.
Fortunately for the little ones’ parents, Botha has no plans to scale down. She hopes to, one day; build a nursery section for babies, as well as a Grade R class.
“It would be a dream come true,” she said.