Emmanuel Day Care Centre

Our Background

EMMANUEL DAY CARE CENTRE opened in November 2000, a vision Marie Petersen an ex nurse and community worker had to meet the need in Atlantis for special needs children, covering both the intellectually and physically challenged in different degrees. At least 10 of the children suffer from severe cerebral palsy

Our Children

40 registered children and adolescents are from Atlantis and surrounding farms and informal settlements. This being a poor dormitory town 40 kilometres from Cape Town. Many of the children are from low income families, most are unemployed or single parents. In many cases these children would be left at home, some unattended and with no oversight or stimulus. The children range from 12 months to 18 years.

This Centre offers a safe and secure environment for these children in the community. At the Centre through a feeding programme, therapy, educational activities and health care we are able to bring a sense of meaning and independence in their futures.

Daily Activities

Classroom activities include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, craft activities, outside play, and life skill building.

Centre Management and Staff

Marie Petersen, a resident of Atlantis for 32 years and who has a vast number of years working with special needs children and young adults runs the Centre. She spent 18 years working with the Wilge Centre for the disabled in the management of challenged children and adults before starting up Emmanuel.

Looking after the children are 7 motivated and willing but poorly paid staff of teachers and helpers.


An active Board of Management meet regularly on a monthly basis and is responsible for fiduciary controls of the organisation. At these meetings, Manger reports on the operations of the Centre and presents monthly financial reports.

We are accountable to The Department of Health who regularly carry out inspections and table reports.


Emmanuel is a registered non-profit organisation.  It falls under the agis of the Western Cape Department of Health receiving a monthly subsidy which in no way covers running costs. Emmanuel relies heavily on the help of volunteers and donations from a caring community and service organisations. Without this help and input Emmanuel would cease to function.


Having been in an old farmhouse which was totally inadequate for our children, we moved into bigger and better purpose built premises this year.

New premises will enable us to increase our number of children in the day care centre, allow for a small number of residential young adults and, in time, establish a RESIDENTIAL AND PROTECTIVE WORKSHOP where disabled young folk can be taught certain skills as well as earn a small income.

Emmanuel Centre
Nottingham Road
Sherwood Park
Atlantis 7350
Cape Town
South Africa

PO Box 1504
Dassenberg 7350
South Africa

+27 (021) 572 0976

Email: emmdaycare@telkomsa.net

Email: Ann Davidson (fund coordinator) at