ECDU Says Early Foundation Leverages Success

Education Media Unit

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts (EMU) – Reflecting on the recent past in which she herself facilitated a workshop for the Early Childhood Development Unit (ECDU), Acting Chief Education Officer Mrs. Clarice Cotton said she felt confident that an orientation workshop which was being concluded for day care workers would positively impact the Federation’s children.

Mrs. Cotton’s past experiences lead her to the conclusion that the Early Childhood Development Unit is making outstanding strides in the Federation’s Education programme.
The Unit, affectionately referred to as the “Workshop Unit” has been labelled as constantly providing training for its preschool teachers, nursery workers and prospective staff; in this case an orientation seminar for new staff and those considering the field.
Mrs. Cotton assured a group of highly appreciative participants that they would find their task a lot more pleasant and rewarding having undertaken such training at the outset of their careers in childcare and education.
The acting Chief Education Officer was also full of praise for the ECDU, lead by Coordinator Mrs. Jacqueline Morris, for its thrust in training Kindergarten teachers based on their significant role in transitioning pre-schoolers into primary school.
“It is important that an adequate early childhood experience is laid for each child,” Mrs. Cotton said. “They must receive the developmentally age-appropriate activities that will bolster their success later on in life.”
She highlighted the research-proven fact that children having a strong foundation in early childhood education were less likely to participate in crime and other anti-social behaviours.
Also delivering remarks at the closing ceremony, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Information Mrs. Ionie Liburd-Willett emphasized the significant role of early childhood workers.
She reminded participants that as educators they are the decisive element in the classroom- heavily swaying the outcome of children’s experiences. “You possess tremendous power to determine whether children’s lives are miserable or joyous,” she admonished.
She said further that the strategies being shared to help young children excel in language skills and cognitive learning would help them to become independent, curious, creative, and problem solvers which are essential skills for life.
Several participants told the Education Media Unit (EMU) they felt very excited to return to their classrooms to share with the young learners some of the activities and learning tools they had created from low and no cost materials. They added that they were very pleased to have this opportunity especially given the increasingly challenging economic times.
The two week workshop commend commenced on Friday May 4, 2012.
The responsibility of for early childhood development in St. Kitts and Nevis (birth to eight years) rests with the Ministry of Education through its Early Childhood Development Unit. There are 102 registered early childhood centres. Eighteen of these are Government owned and 84 are operated by private providers.

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