1976 – a watershed year in the history of education in South Africa – was also the year when the Stepping Stones Children’s Centre opened its doors for the first time to 20 pre-school children in the premises of the old Albertus Street Primary School which had been closed in the late 1960s as part of the forced removals under the Group Areas Act. It was a project of the Buitenkant Street Methodist Church where the Rev. Dr. Charles Villa-Vicencio was the minister at the time. Many parents who had been forcefully removed from District Six still came to work in the city, and had no safe place to leave their children while they were at work. Dr. Villa-Vicencio recalls an old man who had to look after three children in a tiny room in Hanover Park. It was situations such as these that prompted the church members to ask, “What can the church do to help in this situation?” A decision was taken to establish a daycare centre, and this became a community project. One founding principle was that the school refused to classify children according to race, and so throughout the apartheid years the school received no funding from the State. The school started with a minimal budget, and for a long time relied on volunteers in the classrooms, the kitchen and the office.