First, it was the mushrooming of unlicensed lodges and now an avalanche of illegal day care centers has descended on Gaborone.
Many illegal day care centres are sprouting around the cities and a lot of them are operating in the same residential places where people live.
Regulations require that day care centres operate from a civic or community land use, according to the Physical planning Division.
In an interview with The Telegraph, the Gaborone City Council Environmental Health Officer, Ms Grace Goalafe, said that many of these illegal day care centres do not have licenses and other relevant documents.
“A lot of individuals take short-cuts operating day care centres. They do not follow the right procedure. The building structures are in bad condition that are far from being conducive for children’s safety and learning,” said Goalafe.
“Another concern is the lack of qualified personnel and first aid equipment.”
Goalafe said that a fully licensed day care center should have sun-shade for protection, a clean playing ground, and a sick bay in cases of the need to isolate particular children from others.
“In some cases, illegal day care centres do not advertise themselves and usually an individual collects a large number of children claiming to be baby-seating family members. In some cases there are no junior toilets and children use adults toilets which are being used by both males and females,” said Goalafe.
The Gaborone City Council Township Act states that occupied residential houses shall not be used as day care centres. It stipulates that garages and verandas shall not be used or extended as classrooms for day-care centre. In addition, it states that premises used for day-care shall be constructed in accordance with and from material permitted by the appropriate building regulation.
The Township Act also says children shall not be admitted to or be allowed to remain at a day-care centre without permission of the Council, if under the age of two or over the age of six.