JIS News

Story Highlights

  • An additional 100 basic schools are to be certified by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) over the next 12 months.
  • This will bring the number to 117, following certification of the first 17 earlier this year.
  • While noting that certification of the first 17 institutions was a proud achievement, Mr. Green said Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in a meeting with ECC members, emphasised that “we have to do more”.

An additional 100 basic schools are to be certified by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) over the next 12 months.

This will bring the number to 117, following certification of the first 17 earlier this year.

This was disclosed by ECC Chairperson, Trisha Williams-Singh, who was speaking at the opening ceremony for the agency’s inaugural certification fair at Jamaica College on Friday, August 26.

Referring to the earliest years of a child’s life as the most “critical period” for cognitive, emotional and social development, Mrs. Williams-Singh said the stage has been set by the ECC to embark on the certification exercise.

The announcement was welcomed by State Minister for Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, who also spoke at the ceremony.

In his remarks, Mr. Green commended the ECC, noting that their impending undertaking is consistent with the Government’s commitment to ensure that Jamaica’s more than 2,500 early-childhood institutions are certified.

While noting that certification of the first 17 institutions was a proud achievement, Mr. Green said Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, in a meeting with ECC members, emphasised that “we have to do more”.

“That means all of us will have to pull together – the Government, practitioners and teachers, communities and private sector. Let us commit that we will do all that we can in this drive to revolutionise our educational system, to ensure that we have an early-childhood sector that is begrudged all over the world,” the State Minister added.

Mr. Green lauded the ECC for staging the certification fair, particularly in relation to heightening practitioners’ awareness about the standards governing the sector.

“We know that if our institutions stick to those standards, they will be giving our children the best education they can get anywhere in the world,” he said.

Mr. Green also lauded the early-childhood educators’ commitment to developing the nation’s young children.

Underscoring the importance of the early-childhood sector, he described the practitioners’ input as an “awesome job and responsibility”.

“Some of you have been at it for such a long time just out of the love that you have for our children and for serving our nation, and you should be applauded,” Mr. Green said.

Friday’s certification fair was the first in a series being undertaken by the ECC. They are aimed at engaging early-childhood teachers, practitioners, and parents in interactive sessions about the requisite certification standards.

There are 2,798 early-childhood institutions in operation, of which more than 2,500 have applied for certification.