JIS: The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) has reported that an additional eight early-childhood institutions (ECIs) have met the ECC’s 12 operating standards and are now certified.

 

This brings to 55 the total number of ECIs that have attained certification to date.

 

Executive Director of the ECC, Karlene DeGrasse Deslandes, told JIS News that the achievement is timely, “as our nation is celebrating a momentous occasion – 55 years of Independence.

 

She emphasised that early childhood is the most critical period in a child’s life and must be taken seriously.

 

“Therefore, the ECC has embarked on a drive to ensure the provision of access to high-quality early-childhood programmes and services, recognising the importance of the first 1,000 days of a child’s life,” Mrs. DeGrasse Deslandes said.

 

While applauding the effort of all the institutions that attained certification recently, she is encouraging urgency among the other ECIs in ensuring that they strive to meet and exceed the operating standards to achieve certification.

 

She also emphasised the importance of public support of cash or kind to these institutions, as this is critical in assisting the community-based ECIs. Certified ECIs have the responsibility to maintain the standards of an effective learning environment. This includes appropriate and qualified staff, secure and stimulating settings, proper nutrition, and upholding the rights of the children.

 

The eight ECIs that were recently certified are Fern Grove and Mile End Basic Schools in St. Ann; Building Blocks Pre School, Kingston; Emerald Prep and Kindergarten, St. James; Barbara E. Lee Hing, Manchester; Mineral Heights Christian Kinder-Prep/Basic School in Clarendon; and Angie’s Early Childhood Centre, Portland.

 

The ECC is an agency of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information with a mandate to coordinate all activities, development plans and programmes within the early childhood sector.

 

The Commission has been promoting the certification of all early-childhood institutions as one of its mission-critical legislated requirements.

 

For more information, persons can contact the Early Childhood Commission at: communications@ecc.gov.jm.

 

CAPTION: Executive Director of the Early Childhood Commission (ECC), Karlene DeGrasse Deslandes (right), in discussion with Development Officer at the ECC, Region Six, Marvia Johnson Brown, at a Certification Fair held in Brown’s Town, St. Ann, recently.