JIS News

The Early Childhood Commission (ECC), in collaboration with the George Brown College and the Canadian High Commission, has launched a Best Practices Document for Early Childhood Development.
The document, ‘Best Practices for Early Childhood Development, Birth to Five Years’, was launched in Kingston, recently.
Canadian High Commissioner to Jamaica, Denis Kingsley, in his address, explained that Canada stands committed to supporting education in Jamaica.
“In the last two years, we have provided, through the Canada Fund, approximately $35 million to this sector [early childhood] alone. These funds included support for the construction of basic schools that were damaged by the storms, upgrading of some of the schools, as they work towards meeting the new ECC standards; provision of computers and other technological equipment and support for a wide variety of teaching and learning materials, including this best practices publication,” the High Commissioner informed.
“The publication is timely, given the emphasis that the ECC is putting on raising the standard of early childhood education here in Jamaica,” he added.
The High Commissioner pointed out that the Best Practices document is a presentation of those practices that would work well in Jamaica.
“This publication, through the collaboration of many stakeholders, has investigated the realities and the context of the early childhood environment right here in Jamaica, and has determined not only what works well elsewhere, but what will work very well here,” he said.
“What we are celebrating here today, is a culmination of an important document that becomes a valuable tool for all the teachers, administrators, as well as the parents, that can be used as a supportive road map towards increasing successful outcomes for Jamaican children,” he noted.
Mr. Kingsley emphasised that the document is a publication that should be taken seriously, as it “goes beyond presentation and merely good or promising ideas.”
“By committing to use this publication and also contribute to its ongoing evolution, stakeholders are committed to playing an important role in the delivery of high quality education for the nation’s youngest members,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the ECC, Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan, explained that three aspects of Early Childhood development are addressed in the document, including the importance of teacher training and teacher practice; special needs training; and improving the use of outdoor play spaces.
She pointed out that the Best Practices Document should change the current early childhood sector.
“We want to see a change in practice; we don’t just want to see a really nice document that looks pretty. We want to see a document that is going to be used to really change the classroom environment and the interaction of teachers with children,” the Chairman said.
The goal of the Best Practices Document is to assist day care and basic schools in achieving Jamaica’s standards and regulations, by outlining the day-to-day classroom practices that lead to exemplary programme delivery.
Some 3,225 copies of the Best Practices Document are to be distributed to Early Childhood Institutions islandwide.

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