Caring for Crèches:

These are some of our current projects:

  • Caring for Crèches (this page)


Caring for Crèches (C4C):
How we have helped identify and deal with suspected abuse, helping thousands of children

I guess this is our flagship programme as we have now, in partnership with Childline SA, got this going in three huge rural provinces.

We have developed a training programme that is delivered, in the local language, to people who run informal crèches.Trainers for C4C

These informal crèches are setup by incredibly committed women [and a few men..] who, themselves, have often had a reduced education due to family circumstances. The women don’t just aim to keep children safe from harm during the day and to try to earn money for their own families they also have a burning desire to work within their communities to improve life for children through improved parenting and a better environment.

Caring for creches manualMany many babies are born to teenage girls; the babies are frequently left in the  care of an over worked Granny who has many other responsibilities even if not trying to work to keep money coming in. Unfortunately this often means that the babies-young children are left alone with an older sibling, so there is a desperate need for day care.

Through Childline we have been accessing these crèches and providing six days of free training – plus the taxi fares and meals – instructing the carers in childcare, health including HIV/AIDS, nutrition, and how to recognise and react appropriately to suspected abuse.

To date, for every crèche that has had carers trained, we know that, on average, four children are subsequently identified as abused and most of the women have, for the first time, had the opportunity to talk about their own experiences of abuse; over 90% of the women have suffered abuse or domestic violence.

Dundonald ladiesAdd to this their developing courage and determination to tackle suspected abusers, the community talks they do, the tackling of families suspected of abusing children and the impact of our C4C is immense.


Crèche ladies at Dundonald



Through this programme, by end of March 2014, we have:

  • trained over 2,000 crèche leaders,
  • helped Childline SA to identify more than 3,000 small children who have been abandoned or who are being mistreated and/or neglected, and who need help and support,
  • positively impacted on the lives of over 100,000 small children plus countless other families and communities.

We still plan to fund more direct training in 2014 with our friends at UVIWE in Port Elizabeth but in an exciting development we recently funded the training of Childline Trainers from across the whole of South Africa in readiness to roll-out the Caring for Crèches programme nationwide – see the news update sections for more information.


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Our project locations

Map of South Africa

We are not sending any more toys to South Africa. If you would like to donate then please contact the lovely people at:

We are proud and honoured that our work has been recognised by the UK Prime Minister, and that he has given Lesley his Point of Light award, stating
With the Infant Trust Lesley has empowered thousands of women across South Africa to protect and safeguard children in their communities. The education and training she has provided has helped to improve the lives of over 800,000 children, tackling the violence and abuse that affects too many of them in their early years. As we mark International Women’s Day this week I am delighted to recognise all that Lesley has done.”
You can find the full story at
Why are so many small children abused by male perpetrators in South Africa? Our researcher interviewed 27 perpetrators in prison in South Africa; all are in jail after being found guilty of some of the most terrible crimes against some of the most vulnerable children – some as young as a few days old. Those interviewed are all men aged between 16 years and 84 years old, and all have brutalised and raped at least one child. But the findings aren’t maybe what we might expect – it makes interesting reading.  We have been funding research into this for 5 years and it is finally finished and published .

Our flagship Caring for Crèches programme has reached into some of the poorest communities in five of the nine provinces in South Africa and we have crèche leaders everywhere clamouring for the training. We have now trained over 2,200 people and they in turn have already positively impacted on the lives of over 160,000 children … and will continue to help many hundreds more children for years to come