JIS News

As at November 30, the Ministry of Education began the compulsory registration of early childhood institutions, in a bid to improve the quality of service delivered to youngsters at that level.
Education Minister, Andrew Holness, speaking at a recent media briefing at his National Heroes Circle office, said that the exercise is aimed at ensuring that the standard of the institutions is raised to the point where “we can be confident that we are delivering the service that our children need.”
The exercise is part of activities to regulate early childhood education as outlined in the early Childhood Act of 2005. The Early Childhood Commission (ECC), chaired by University of the West Indies professor, Dr. Maureen Samms-Vaughan, will spearhead the exercise. All institutions, the Minister said, are required to register with the organization within 90 days of the commencement date.
“The registration process is really meant to offer additional support to early childhood institutions,” Minister Holness explained. “We don’t want it to be interpreted as an enforcement provision, rather, we want early childhood institutions to embrace registration as a means of improving their service delivery. The protection and safety of our children is utmost,” he stated. He warned, however, that failure to comply could lead to decisive action being taken against delinquents.
According to the Minister “This (registration) will assist us and the Planning Institute of Jamaica in reaching the Vision 2030 goal, which says that ‘in 2030, Jamaica will reach developed country status”. I truly believe that this (registration) is a major step towards that.”
Dr. Samms-Vaughan, in her remarks, explained that the process will entail inspection of institutions, inclusive of basic schools and day care centres, on submission of their applications for registration, to analyze the quality service provided and, where necessary, identify areas for improvements.
“We will monitor their progress and we will provide the support through the early childhood education officers, which will allow them (institutions) the technical support (needed) to achieve the required standard. This includes things like upgrading facilities and upgrading teachers,” she outlined.