95% of early-childhood institutions registered with ECC
ST JAMES, Jamaica – Approximately 95 per cent of early-childhood institutions have been registered with the Early Childhood Commission (ECC).
This was disclosed by Acting Communications Manager at the ECC, Sonia Stewart, at the opening ceremony of the Jamaica Teachers’ Association (JTA) Early Childhood Education Conference at the Holiday Inn Resort in St James on Monday.
“The drive to get institutions compliant with our requirements for registration continues,” she said, noting that about 92 schools remain delinquent.
She noted that with more than 2,300 public and private institutions in the sector, covering some 107,000 children, the ECC’s drive to ensure that all early-childhood schools are registered is a significant area of responsibility that requires targeted focus and support.
“With the Transformation of Education for National Development (TREND) programme currently under way, early-childhood education is one of the seven pillars targeted for specific focus in the continuation of our support,” Stewart said.
The ministry’s TREND programme aims to sensitise the public about the education sector’s transformation process and gain buy-in.
The three-day conference brought together early-childhood educators and other stakeholders to participate in various sessions and share in discussions about best practices in the sector.
Stewart said that the ECC endorsed the focus of the conference, noting that early-childhood education continues to be one of the ministry’s main priorities.
“Even before the publication of the 2021 Jamaica Education Transformation Commission report, which had several recommendations for the development of the sector, the Ministry, as part of a wider government policy, had implemented several initiatives and invested billions of dollars towards improvements in the sector,” she pointed out.
Among the initiatives are the development of standards, investing in training and the establishment of brain-builder centres.
In addition, with some 14 per cent of the ministry’s annual budget – equivalent to $11 billion – allocated to early-childhood and special education, Stewart said that is a clear indication of the commitment by the Government to strengthen the foundations of the island’s education system.
The Early Childhood Conference, which concludes on December 20, is being held under the theme ‘Right Start: Prioritising Early Childhood Education’.