Emmanuel Day Care Centre / Together we strive to make a difference!

About Us

About Us

Mission Statement

We are committed to the promotion of equal rights and opportunities for young people that have mental, intellectual and physical disabilities in the Atlantis and surrounding areas.

We strive to render quality service and care to those attending the Centre and promise to do this to the best of our ability to promote development and follow the golden standard of early intervention.

We commit ourselves to lift and protect their human dignity in every way and thereby empower them to be equal and useful members of our community.

Our Aims:

To continue to improve the quality of life of the child with special needs by providing a safe and encouraging environment that promotes development and well being.

To continue provide structure in the form of  educational and therapeutic activities and recreation that empowers the child to be a fully integrated individual  both in society and educationally

To ensure parents have a hub of support in managing the challenges the family faces in relation to their child's disability via our parent support group which will run from January 2017

To raise awareness in the community regarding the child with special needs through any means available to us.

Our Background


EMMANUEL DAY CARE CENTRE was founded in November 2000. Marie Petersen, an ex- nurse and community worker, had to meet the need in Atlantis for children with disabilities of both an intellectual and physical nature. At least 10 children had Cerebral Palsy. 

We hail from a very humble background of hiring a venue, to inhabiting an old vacant farmhouse which had to be renovated, to finally being able to call our current location in Sherwood Park our home thanks to the generosity of Peninsula Beverages Parow (Coca - Cola) when they purchased a building complex that was previously an orphanage.

To see photographs of the official opening and handover of the building  please visit our Gallery.


Our Children


Currently(2016) Emmanuel Day Care Centre  caters for  71 children and adolescents from Atlantis and surrounding farms and informal settlements.Atlantis is a town in the City of Cape Town Metropolitan Municipality in the Western Cape, South Africa. Atlantis is 40 km (25 mi) north of the Cape Town Central Business District (CBD).

 Many of the children are from low income families, most unemployed and 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.

 Although all children are assessed when they are enrolled,we take special care with children who are between 12 and 18 months. Due to their age and the complexity of their medical conditions we determine if they would be able to cope with the daily programme we provide at our day care centre.

What services do we offer?


Daily shuttle service- children are picked up and dropped off at home from Monday to Friday. We currently have one mini bus and have to hire a 24 seater to accommodate the transport needs of our children.

Educational activities as set out by the Inclusive Education team from the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) and modified/graded by our in house programme implementers 

Therapeutic programmes - drawn up and demonstrated  to the child care workers by the therapists from the Inclusive Education

team and in house physiotherapist

Therapy sessions-  one on one sessions are also provided by CP unit care workers, Physiotherapist and Massage therapist

we have five classes/units- amongst these are the CP unit for children and adolescents with Cerebral Palsy, our Adolescent group who are too old (chronologically) to attend school, class One, Two and Three.

Graduation ceremonies are held at the end of the year for children progressing to the next class/unit or higher education facilties.

Placement- we ensure that when a child is ready to take the next step we assist the family in finding an appropriate school or institution that will continue to build on the child's potential.

Centre Management 

Marie Petersen, an ex-nurse & a resident of Atlantis for 39 years, runs the Centre. She spent 18 years working at a day care centre  for persons with disabilities in the management of challenged children and adults prior to the establishment of Emmanuel Day Care Centre. Collectively she has 34 years of experience in the Intellectual Disability Sector.



We have grown from 6 volunteers starting a day care to now being a fully established day care consisting of 18 permanently employed staff members who still hold the vision of creating a safe and happy environment for children with disabilities.

We firmly believe in empowering our staff by constantly providing opportunities to further education and training.

The staff members are truly dedicated to providing the best care they can for the children and we invite you to come and see this yourself by

arranging a tour.


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

We are accountable to The Department of Health and Department of Social Development 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.

How can you help?

We currently have a sponsor a child programme, for more information click on the How can you help? page

Useful links: