Thursday 22 February

Submission on the Child Care Act Discussion Paper

We would like to commend the Commission on a very thorough Discussion Paper and research process. If accepted and implemented, the recommendations suggested in the Discussion Paper will greatly change the future for the better for all children in South Africa.

In this submission, we provide support for the majority of the Commission’s recommendations and make suggestions to strengthen certain areas. We have also indicated where we recommend that further research and discussions be conducted to find appropriate solutions. We would like to offer our assistance to the Commission with regards to the further research and discussions, particularly around the proposed monitoring structure and mechanisms of inter-sectoral co-ordination, and the sections relating to child health.

We are concerned that the Discussion Paper does not give enough attention to problems facing the majority of children in South Africa. While the Commission has done excellent work on areas of secondary and tertiary services, we are the opinion that the area of primary prevention requires more research and more emphasis. We are also concerned that while considerable strides have been made towards a system that is more appropriate for South Africa, the Discussion Paper does not move sufficiently towards systems and solutions to cater for the reality of the family structures and problems that exist in South Africa and that are not being catered for by the current system.

One example is “care by relatives” and structures and systems for such care givers and children to access services and benefits. While the Discussion Paper clearly recommends that this category of caregivers be supported, it does not provide sufficient detail on how this could be achieved. This being said, we realise the enormous task facing the Commission and offer our support for the work that lies ahead in finalising the draft bill and the Report.

Child Care Act Discussion Paper – 2002 – Joint