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JIS News

As of May 2007, all operators of early childhood institutions (ECI) will be required to register their institutions with the Early Childhood Commission (ECC), as is stipulated by the Early Childhood Act of 2005.
Speaking with JIS News, Executive Director of the ECC, Merris Murray, said that, “in another six months we (ECC) shall be ready to enforce the law”, which is in keeping with the role of the Commission to ensure that the operators of early childhood institutions deliver quality service to children in a suitable environment.
“The aim of this Act,” she pointed out, “is to ensure the minimum quality and standard of care for our children that you can find throughout the country, and that our children are given equitable service”. She noted, however, that the law would only take effect after the ECC, in collaboration with the Enhancement of Basic Schools Project (EBSP) completed its public education campaign, which would begin in January.
“Although we are going to be implementing the legal and regulatory framework within which ECIs are expected to operate, the aim is to provide support for these institutions.and we are developing systems and mechanisms whereby we can support the operators and employees of ECIs,” Miss Murray informed.
She further noted that it was important for operators of ECIs to ensure that they apply for registration within three months after the date that the law is enforced, in order to be duly recognized as a certified institution.
“Once the Act is enforced, a private individual is required to apply for a certificate of registration and in that regard, must try to satisfy all the requirements outlined under the Early Childhood Act and its regulations..and to operate without a certificate of registration is in violation of the law,” she emphasized.
When implemented, the public education campaign would involve a series of sensitization workshops, which would serve to inform and educate stakeholders within the early childhood sector, such as Operators and Boards of ECIs, principals and teachers, about the regulations that will govern the sector.
The Ministry of Education and Youth, through its Early Childhood Unit, has already started its sensitization seminars with early childhood education officers, who will play a pivotal role in disseminating information about the regulations to early childhood practitioners.