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The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) in collaboration with the Canadian-based George Brown College on Monday (January 17) launched the ‘Best Practices DVD’ which is aimed at improving the learning, behaviour, developmental and coping skills for the 0-6 year old age group in Jamaica.

Executive Director of the ECC, Winsome Johns-Gayle, said that the DVD brings to life the content of the Best Practices Document for the sector, which was launched in 2009. She said that it will be used as a resource tool by all early childhood practitioners to enforce their training.

"This DVD will also serve to enhance and support the development and training for early childhood practitioners in the inclusion of children with special needs,"

Mrs. Johns-Gayle said at the launch held at the Knutsford Court Hotel.

She urged all stakeholders to assist in the promotion and use of the DVD and Best Practices book, and commended the team from George Brown College and all their partners “for a job well done."

Meanwhile, ECC Chairman Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughn stated that emphasis was placed on capacity development during the creation of the DVD to ensure that there is sustainability. "A number of students went from here to Canada and a number of students from Canada came here. There was capacity development at all levels," she said.

She noted further that it was "heart warming to hear George Brown College talk about what they learnt here and we were learning from them and this is how a good partnership always works." 

In her remarks, Director, Community Services and Early Childhood Education, George Brown College, Patricia Chorney- Rubin, noted that the participants in the project “have all learned so much and it has been an extraordinary learning experience and we will continue to grow and learn together."

In 2003, George Brown College was awarded a five-year project, through funding from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), which focused on improving the learning, behaviour coping, development, and care skills for the 0-6 year old group in Jamaica. Out of the project came the Best Practices Document.

Some of the partners in this project included the ECC, Shortwood Teachers’ College and the Ministry of Education.    

In 2008, the college received funding for an additional three years to focus on developing training and a video to support the Best Practices document; to support the development of training for levels two and level three in the area of inclusion of children with special needs and to consult with colleagues on the development of optimum outdoor play spaces for children birth to five.

CONTACT: LATONYA LINTON