The activities of the Early Childhood Development Project have been strengthened with an allocation of $32 million in the 2013/14 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The project has the objective to improve the monitoring of children’s development, the screening of household-level risks affecting development and early intervention systems, in order to promote development.
It also seeks to enhance the quality of early childhood development schools and care facilities; and strengthen early childhood organisations and institutions.
Up to February, 2013 under the project, 15 consultancies were completed in the areas of Parenting Education, Preventive Health(including the introduction of the Child Health Passport), Screening and Diagnosis and Curriculum Delivery.
Additionally, a Registration Information System was developed for Inspectors; and laptops, desktops, a tape-loader, a printer, servers and software were purchased.
For this fiscal year, it is expected that the project will: provide curriculum support materials to Early Childhood institutions; procure laptops for Early Childhood Institution Inspectors; and complete mapping of remaining Early Childhood Institutions.
It is also anticipated that equipment and material will be procured for schools damaged during Hurricane Sandy; the review of the sector’s National Strategic Plan- 2008-2013 will be completed; and700 kits will be procured for Development Officers and Inspectors.
The project which originally began in June, 2008 should have ended in December, 2010, but after an extension, is scheduled to conclude in September, 2013.
It is being implemented by the Ministry of Education, through funding from the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter