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  • Twenty-seven early childhood educators in Westmoreland, with more than 1,300 cumulative years of service, have been honoured by the Early Childhood Commission.
  • An awards luncheon in their honour was held at Sandals Whitehouse Resort in Culloden, Westmoreland, on April 25.
  • Twenty-four Early Childhood Institutions were also recognised for attaining over 69 per cent compliance with standards set by the Commission, and 10 others for making the greatest progress.

Twenty-seven early childhood educators in Westmoreland, with more than 1,300 cumulative years of service, have been honoured by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC).

An awards luncheon in their honour was held at Sandals Whitehouse Resort in Culloden, Westmoreland, on April 25.

The event, which was organized by the Early Childhood Commission, Region 4, forms part of the ECC’s 10th anniversary celebrations, with the teachers being lauded for their long and distinguished service in the field.

Twenty-four Early Childhood Institutions were also recognised for attaining over 69 per cent compliance with standards set by the Commission, and 10 others for making the greatest progress.

Mrs. Gloria Jordan of Hope Kinder and Basic School was the longest serving educator with more than 50 years. York Hill early childhood institution copped the Highest Standard award after attaining 76 per cent compliance.

Sandals Foundation and the Rockhouse Foundation were also honoured for their contribution to the development of early childhood education in Jamaica, particularly in Westmoreland.

In her address, Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Dr. Grace McLean, commended the EEC for its sterling contribution to repositioning and reforming the early childhood sector in Jamaica.

She underscored the importance of early childhood education to the development of the child, noting that modern science has proven that a child will learn more in the first six years than for the rest of his or her life.

“If we believe that Jamaican children are as bright, if not brighter than other children in the world, then it must be the system’s responsibility to harness this innate ability and to give our children a stable and solid start for primary level education,” Dr. McLean said.

“As practitioners and educators we must redouble our efforts to ensure that early childhood is adequately served and treated as a priority within the education sector,” she added.

The Ministry has identified early childhood education as its number one priority and has been seeking to put in place new policies to improve the sector.

Dr. McLean said the Ministry is currently focussing on improving remuneration to early childhood teachers as well as addressing the nutritional needs of the children.