JIS: The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) will be heightening its efforts to rationalise basic schools this year, even as it seeks to certify more institutions.

 

The rationalisation process involves merging clusters of basic schools, as well as subsuming some into infant departments of primary schools.

 

Acting Executive Director at the ECC, Karlene DeGrasse-Deslandes, said “the rationalisation process is essential if we are to ensure that more efficient and effective learning environments are created for children ages four to five.

 

She noted that the intention is to ensure that more children “have access to trained teachers in established certified Government-operated infant schools or departments.”

 

Mrs. DeGrasse-Deslandes said that rationalisation allows for greater collaboration with early childhood development partners and stakeholders to have ECIs meet the required standards for certification.

 

To date, 25 ECIs have attained certification status and it is expected that at least 100 more will be certified by August.

 

The ECC embarked on a series of regional certification fairs in August 2016, and to date two sessions have been held in Region One (Kingston and St. Andrew) and Region Two (Portland, St. Mary and St. Thomas), with more than 2,000 ECI practitioners benefitting.

 

In addition, 206 practitioners have been fingerprinted as part of the process to acquire police records, while 63 persons underwent medical examinations. This is part of the requirement for ECI staff in keeping with the standards for the operation, management and administration of ECIs.

 

The ECC will host the third certification fair in Region Five (Manchester and St. Elizabeth) on February 17 at the Idlers Rest Beach Hotel in Black River, St. Elizabeth. ECI operators, teachers, practitioners, parents, early childhood development partners and stakeholders are among the persons expected to be in attendance.

 

The event will provide opportunities for document submission, as well as information sessions on ECI operating standards.

 

CAPTION: Development Officer at the Early Childhood Commission (ECC), Alyson Orgill (left), provides information on the certification of early childhood institutions to a participant at the Region Two certification fair, which was held in Buff Bay, Portland, in 2016.