JIS News

About 85 per cent of early childhood institutions have submitted applications for registration.
This has been disclosed by Regional and Community Intervention Co-ordinator at the Early Childhood Commission (ECC), Mr. Richard Williams.
“To date we have improved the number of persons who have applied to 2,900. Close to 85 per cent of the institutions would have applied for registration and the process is a continuing one, because a year would have passed since the call for registration, so we will continue our customer service to ensure that all institutions supply us with the necessary data,” he said, during a JIS Think Tank, on August 20.
The Co-ordinator further pointed out that the call for registration started as far back as 2007.
“At the end of that call, we had 2,700 institutions applying for registration out of a total of 3,300 and those that are outstanding, we would have called them, and let them know what the process is,” Mr. Williams noted, while pointing out that after schools are inspected, they get one year to improve.
“For all institutions, once you apply for registration and your documents are verified and an inspection is conducted, at the end of the inspection, a report is prepared. That inspection report will detail the institution in terms of what it is doing good and bad, and what the needs are. Each institution will get at least a year to operate and improve,” the Co-ordinator explained.
According to Mr. Williams, the remaining early childhood institutions are expected to submit their applications by December 2009. He also explained that the registration process was quite simple.
“This requires an owner or operator of an Early Childhood Institution to provide specific documents, a certificate of fitness from the Jamaica Fire Brigade, satisfactory public health report from the Public Health Department in the parish, food handler’s permit for all staff, medical certificate of fitness for all staff, police record for all staff, proof of Early Childhood Development (ECD) training, two references, job description and terms of employment, minimum standards of operation and adequate space within buildings to maintain appropriate numbers of children to caregivers or practitioners, proper ventilation as well as conforming to other legal requirements outside of the Early Childhood Act and Regulations,” he informed.
The ECC’s mission is defined as an integrated and co-ordinated delivery of quality early childhood programmes and services, which provide equity and access for children 0 to 8 years within healthy, safe and nurturing environments.
To accomplish this mission, a five- year national strategic plan for ECD 2008 to 2013 was developed with some critical elements being effective parenting education and support, effective preventive health care, early and effective screening, diagnosis and intervention for at-risk children and households, safe learner centres, well maintained early childhood facilities and effective curriculum delivery by trained early childhood practitioners.

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