More Early Childhood Institutions Meeting Operating Standards

Story Highlights

  • The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) is reporting that there has been a steady increase in compliance with the 12 operating standards for Early Childhood Institutions (ECI).        
  • Executive Director at the ECC, Karlene DeGrasse Deslandes, attributed this to the continued support of key partners and stakeholders of its thrust aimed at increasing the number of institutions certified.
  • Mrs. DeGrasse Deslandes said the ECC will continue to provide support to ECIs across the six regions through regular inspections and visits.

The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) is reporting that there has been a steady increase in compliance with the 12 operating standards for Early Childhood Institutions (ECI).

Executive Director at the ECC, Karlene DeGrasse Deslandes, attributed this to the continued support of key partners and stakeholders of its thrust aimed at increasing the number of institutions certified.

To date, 47 ECIs have met the requirements for certification, with several others close to meeting the requirements as outlined in the Standards for the Operation and Management of Early Childhood Institutions. The aim is to certify at least 300 ECIs by 2019.

The Standards cover a wide range of areas and include staffing; developmental/educational programmes; interactions and relationships with children; the physical environment; indoor and outdoor equipment, furnishing and supplies; health; nutrition; safety; child rights, child protection and equality; interactions with parents and community members; administration; and finance.

Mrs. DeGrasse Deslandes said the ECC will continue to provide support to ECIs across the six regions through regular inspections and visits.

She informed that training has been provided for early childhood practitioners in areas such as paediatric first aid, identifying signs of child abuse and the reporting mechanism under Public Health Act.

This is in keeping with requirements under the Early Childhood Act and Regulations for all ECIs to have well-trained staff with the appropriate knowledge and skills to help children achieve their full potential.

Mrs. DeGrasse Deslandes expressed her appreciation to the key partners, who have been providing support to the ECIs, noting that she anticipates their continued contribution.

They include: the Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education (PACE) Canada; Digicel Foundation; CHASE Fund; National Baking Company Foundation; National Parenting Support Commission; Child Development Agency; and NCB Foundation.

Mrs. DeGrasse Deslandes is encouraging all stakeholders to lend their support to the ECIs, whether in cash or kind, in order to improve the lives of the nation’s children.

“Their future starts today, and the invested interest at this level will dictate the level of growth and development that Jamaica will experience in the future,” she noted.

Mrs. DeGrasse Deslandes said the Commission is tasked with responsibility for early childhood development in Jamaica, and therefore remains committed to developing and implementing quality programmes towards the advancement of the sector.

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