The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) is staying focused. Amidst all the difficult and disturbing news regarding our children and all the challenges to be overcome, the Commission keeps going. It has now certified 26 early childhood institutions (that is, basic schools, nurseries and kindergartens) in all twelve standards, and aims to certify 300 more by 2019. By August this year, the ECC hopes to certify 100 institutions; twenty or so are already close to fulfilling all the requirements. This is quite a tall order, indeed; but goals are good, even ambitious ones. The ECC has been training field officers and inspectors and has also held two Certification Fairs, providing all the information that teachers and owners of the 2,700 or so early childhood institutions in Jamaica would need. I attended the first such fair in Kingston last year; it was absolutely hectic, with a booth providing information on each of the standards. The third fair will be held in Black River, St. Elizabeth on February 17.
The twelve standards are rigorous – as they should be. They encompass developmental and educational programs, staffing, behavior management, the physical environment, equipment, health, nutrition and safety. The ECC always celebrates when it certifies a new institution – as it did recently in the seaside hamlet of St. Margaret’s Bay in Portland. I was unable to attend; however, I obtained these photographs, which tell a story of achievement for St. Margaret’s Bay Basic School, while the children share in the joy of the occasion. I am happy to share them with you.
Wishing the ECC team and its energetic Chair Trisha Williams-Singh all the best as they work for the education and welfare of our little ones…
By the way, the ECC’s excellent website has a page with links to all legislation and regulations related to childcare and rights. Very useful!
For more information on the ECC, contact Ceila Morgan, Communications Manager. Tel: 922-9296/551-1803; email: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com