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JIS News

Early childhood education officers are responding positively to the series of training workshops being conducted by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) and the Enhancement of Basic Schools Project (EBSP), which are designed to educate them about the new regulations that will govern the sector.
The islandwide training sessions, which got underway in Mandeville on January 9, will prepare the education officers to sensitize other stakeholders in the sector, about the new regulations, which come under the Early Childhood Act of 2005.
Education Officer, Carolyn Jackson-Jones, who participated in the second workshop for officers from Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Thomas held recently at the Parenting Partners Office on St. Lucia Avenue, where some 25 personnel attended, said that the session was enlightening as it clarified a number of issues, in particular, how they should proceed with their own workshops in their respective zones.
“The workshop was very informative and stimulating, as we got a lot of new information and we have already organized ourselves into teams and are preparing ourselves to conduct the sensitization workshops,” she said.
She further noted that the implementation of the new regulations and standards within the early childhood sector would only serve to improve the development of children at the early childhood level.
“I think that teachers will be happy for the change in some areas because for them this will mean a different way of doing things, and [they will be] looking for better outcomes in our children’s development,” she observed.
Speaking with JIS News, EBSP Consultant, Heather Gallimore, said that the workshops were aimed at providing the education officers with information and the resources they would need in order to undertake their sensitization workshops with stakeholders at the community level.
“We are training the trainers.in preparation for them going out and training the management and staff from the early childhood institutions on the new Act and its regulations, as well as getting them prepared for the registration process,” she noted.
One of the main objectives of the workshops, she explained “is to ensure that the education officers are very familiar and comfortable with the Act, the standards and regulations, in order to be able to explain them to the staff and operators of the early childhood institutions”.
“Secondly,” she added, “the workshops are also to ensure that they (education officers) are prepared for anticipated as well as unanticipated challenges in carrying out the training, in terms of the questions and the concerns that will be presented to them at the zone workshops”.
The Early Childhood Act and its regulations come into effect this year, and among other things, require that all early childhood institutions be registered.
The workshops, which are a precursor to the ‘Start them Right, Make them Bright’ public education campaign, continue today (Jan. 14) in Falmouth, with education officers from regions 3 and 4, which comprise the parishes of Trelawny, Westmoreland, Hanover, St. James, St. Ann and St. Mary.
The final workshop will be held on January 24 at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston, immediately following the launch of the public education campaign. This workshop will bring together all early childhood education officers as well as other stakeholders in the sector.