... 100 institutions to be certified
Giving their commitment to have 100 early-childhood institutions certified over the next 12 months, chairperson of the Early Childhood Commission, Trisha Williams Singh, said bureaucracy in addition to achieving more results are issues the commission is intent on addressing as they seek to improve the sector.
Speaking with The Gleaner following the launch of the National Bakery Foundation's Little Leaders programme, she said the time has come for the early-childhood sector to begin producing results.
"Currently, we have 17 (schools certified). The intent in the next 12 months is to certify 100. We are giving that commitment to Jamaica," she said.
"One of the challenges is that many people want to help and so we are going to make it easier for them to contribute. We are moving to a more action-based approach to early childhood because I say it unapologetically, we do a lot of talking. The standards are here, a lot of research has been done. Let's just do it," she declared.
Noting that an educational fair will be hosted later this month to educate persons on the importance of police records - a requirement for early-childhood teachers - Singh said that children should be exposed to the best standards of education.
"We keep talking about the police records. However, I do believe, for example, that a parent enrolling their child in an institution would want to know that the practitioner is up to standard. Police records, health services - all of these are requirements in ensuring that we meet basic standards," she said.
"We also recognise that there are some buildings which will need fixing, among other issues, but we are determined. We are on a serious campaign. We have a lot of more trained practitioners coming into the system and that is commendable, but we still have to fix the gaps," she said.