The efforts by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) to have more Early Childhood Institutions (ECIs) certified by August 2017 are bearing results. The Board of the ECC has set a target of 100 more ECIs for certification in the next ten months.
“I am very confident that we can attain the target set,” says Trisha Williams-Singh, the ECC’s Board Chairman. “Already the responses from the more than 2,000 ECI operators and practitioners at the two Regional Certification Fairs held in St. Andrew and Portland have been very positive; 155 applications by ECI practitioners for police records among other things, have so far been processed at the two events.” Williams-Singh pointed out. Police records are among the staffing (Standard One) requirements for certification. To date only 17 ECIs across the parishes of St. Ann; St. James; Westmoreland and Hanover, representing a mix of public, private and corporate-sponsored institutions have been certified.
The twelve (12) legal standards for the operation of ECIs in Jamaica cover the areas of staffing; development and educational programmes; interactions and relationships with children; physical environment; indoor and outdoor equipment; health; nutrition; safety; child rights, child protection and equality; parent and stakeholder participation; administration and finance. A Certificate of Registration when issued is valid for five years.
Standard Two which addresses Developmental and Educational Programmes at ECIs has been reflected in the National Age-Four School Readiness Assessment which was rolled out in May 2016. Just under 40,000 children at age four participated in the two-day national assessment in May 2016. The objective was to determine students’ state of readiness to access primary level education. The assessment is also used to support learning and instruction, and to identify children in need of additional support services. Honourable Ruel Reid, announced recently, that 92 per cent of children at the early-childhood level are at the required learning development stage..
For more information on the work of the ECC please visit :
website at www.ecc.gov.jm
Twitter: @ECCJA and Instagram: @earlychildhoodcommission.