Some 90 Early Childhood caregivers in Georgetown, Berbice and Linden, for the first time are taking part in an Early Childhood Foundation training to improve their skills to better nurture the nation’s children.

Thirty caregivers were selected from daycares and playgroups in the three areas are being trained by the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) in collaboration with the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The initiative was launched on Wednesday at the Guyana Industrial Training Centre (GITC) where the training for the Georgetown batch will take place for the next eight weeks. “Our intention is to have all the caregivers at child care facilities be given the requisite skills that they need to care for our children,” said Executive Officer of Early Childhood at the CPA Lavern 20190405 11

“There are approximately 600 of our caregivers without formal training in our Early Childhood hence the reason why we would have embarked on doing this training for caregivers.”

She added that the Childcare and Protection Agency intends to eventually take the project countrywide. Speaking to the caregivers at the opening ceremony, Thorne urged them to take full advantage of the opportunity and grasp as much as they can from the training.

Meanwhile, UNICEF Guyana Education Specialist Audery Rodrigues reminded the caregivers that the Early Childhood stage is the most crucial stage of development which can shape the future of the child.

In this regard, she stated: “It is critical that at this stage in Guyana’s development that we can no longer sit by an allow persons not to be trained. This is why there are minimum standards for Early Childhood care and development; this is why there is now legislation; this why the Ministry of Social Protection through the Childcare and Protection Agency has employed legislation and licensed officers because it has recognised that the damage you do down at the bottom, it doesn’t matter how much a country has, it will spend too much of its money in trying to do corrective measures for children when they get to adolescence.”

She, too, encouraged the caregivers to broaden their knowledge and skills in the area so that they can better impact the future development of Guyana.

Also addressing the batch was BIT Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Richard Maughn who stated that the eight weeks ahead will present an opportunity for the caregivers to receive certified training.

He assured those attending that the aim of the BIT in each of its training programmes is to ensure that individuals develop a desire to become “life-long learners”.

“At the Board of Industrial Training, we are involved in the training and re-training of individuals. You come here today to receive formal training and you’re coming with your experience; you’re coming with knowledge but, believe me, the training that you will receive will open new doors for you,” he said.

Maughn stated that in addition to the training, BIT and CPA officers will be visiting the various places of work of the caregivers to observe how the skills taught are applied and whether there are learning gaps. There are approximately 863 caregivers in Guyana who, on a weekly basis, attend to some 7,000 of the country’s children.