Ministry of Education Begins Early Childhood Expansion Consultancy

(EMU) – St. Kitts, July 16, 2019: Staff of the Early Childhood Development Unit are voicing their pleasure at the progress made the recently concluded initial visit of the consultancy team to analyze supply and demand in the early childhood sector and prepare costed options for sustainable expansion.

The objective of the consultancy is to deliver two models of expansion in the ECD sector for consideration by the government which would guide expansion of the sector and the related investment.

This visit focused on stakeholder consultation with partner Ministries (Health; Social Development, Child Welfare Probation, Community; Public Works, Physical Planning and Finance) as well as ECD service providers (public and private) and parents. Site visits were also conducted in both public and private centres.

This process was carried out in both St. Kitts and Nevis (2 days allocated to each island)
On Friday there was a workshop for Education policy makers.
In a courtesy call of the consultant on Permanent Secretary of Education Mr Vincent Hodge, the Permanent Secretary shared his enthusiasm and that of the Ministry with the thrust to expand the already flourishing sector.

Cue In: “We are definitely on the path to bring the Early Childhood Sector up to the primary and secondary level of the education system. We are in the process of reviewing the national curriculum and this is going to span from Early Childhood right up to post secondary. That is part of the expansion of Early Childhood as well.”

The Ministry of Education, with the support of UNICEF, established a contract with Bases Sólidas Consultants who stated that apart from the Ministry stakeholders, the team also met with parents a very key group in determining the way forward in the Early Childhood sector.

Cue In: “We did meetings with parents as well. That was a very interesting meeting with them, asking them their motivation ad why they like to bring their children to early childhood; also to ask them about quality. How they choose between preschools: public, private.”
While there is a National Overarching policy which the consultant said his team would operate within, he stated that there would also be special attention to eh peculiar needs of each island to ensure that they are suitably addressed.

The initial visit during the week of July 8-12 was the first of two country visits with another visit scheduled for mid – September.

 

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