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  • Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has announced that more budgetary support is coming for the early childhood sector.
  • The Minister said that consciousness is growing that children must receive a proper start in education.
  • Rev. Thwaites lauded the efforts of Sandals Foundation in assisting to improve the early childhood sector.

Minister of Education, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has announced that more budgetary support is coming for the early childhood sector, particularly in the areas of emoluments and improved facilities.

Delivering the keynote address at the launching of Project Sprout, an early childhood improvement initiative spearheaded by Sandals Foundation, at the Eden Gardens Wellness Resort and Spa, in Kingston, on March 18, the Minister said that consciousness is growing that children must receive a proper start in education, and that the Ministry will continue to give its commitment to the sector.

“Last year we were able to improve the allocation by 11 per cent, and this year we are hoping to increase it to about 14 per cent of the education budget,” Rev. Thwaites said.

“We are recognizing that so many trained teachers in the early childhood sector are paid far too low, and far too little, and there will be some improvement this year,” the Minister added.

Rev. Thwaites lauded the efforts of Sandals Foundation in assisting to improve the early childhood sector, emphasizing that, “once children receive the best start in education, it prevents the ills that beset the system in later years.”

He said the Ministry encourages the link between special education and early childhood education, as whatever challenges affect those 20 per cent of the cohort, they can be diagnosed and treated early.

The aim of Project Sprout is to improve teaching pedagogy in its quality and effectiveness, by strengthening parenting skills, support the developmental needs of children in the home and in school-based activities, as well as provide inputs to enhance the learning environment of early childhood institutions across the island.