Ministry of Education, Guyana

Thursday, 04 April 2019 12:10

Early Childhood Development Centre opens in Ithaca

– To enhance delivery of early childhood development programmes

“The Ministry of Education understands that optimizing the early years of children’s lives is the best investment we can make as a society in ensuring their future success”; those were the words of Minister of Education, Dr. the Hon. Nicolette Henry at today’s official commissioning of the Early Childhood Development Centre in Ithaca Village, West Bank Berbice.

According to Minister Henry, Early Childhood Education leads to fewer students being placed in Special Education in their primary years. She said that meeting a child’s needs early on, will help them to better learn and retain the foundational skills and knowledge to help them succeed in their future.news 20190405 17

She explained that “Early Education gives them a great jump start into learning. It also provides the platform needed to introduce good academic practices and training for our young intelligent minds.”

The Education Minister further stated that we must remember that a child’s brain develops rapidly during the first five years of life, especially in the first three years. She added that during these years, it is the time of rapid cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional and motor development.news 20190405 19

As such, Minister Henry highlighted the importance of the new facility and the services which it will provide to the community. She encouraged that the community makes full use of the opportunity in utilizing the services of the centre and urged those that will execute the programme that maintenance and sustainability are vital in the longevity of the programme.

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament, Hon. Jennifer Wade gave brief remarks and said that Early Childhood Education is the foundation of education and is important in order to raise the nation’s children the right way.

Also giving remarks was Deputy Regional Executive Officer of Region Five, Mahaica Berbice, Mr. Sherwyn Wellington. He said that the project aims at enhancing the delivery of early childhood development programmes for pre-schoolers in rural communities.news 20190405 18

He said that the centre at Ithaca caters for at least 45 children. According to Mr. Wellington, the programme comes at a critical time when the evidence has shown that there is an upsurge of women entering the workforce and therefore, there is an increasing need for care outside of the immediate family.

“In addition, there is a significant proportion of unemployed mothers from low-income households who cannot afford to send their child or children to a childcare facility outside of their community nor can they engage in full-time employment since they are required to be at home to look after their child or children. These concerns have increased the need for the proposed programme and trained childcare officers”, stated Mr. Wellington.

He further explained that the caregivers at the facility are between the ages of 19 and 36. He thanked the Government of Guyana for affording two young caregivers scholarships to further their studies in Early Childhood Development at the University of Guyana. He said that on the completion of studies, the two caregivers will be promoted to take over the mantle of managing the Centre in Ithaca.

He thanked the organisations that played an integral role to make the centre a reality; those include the Basic Need Trust Fund (BNTF), Ministry of Finance, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Child Care and Protection Agency, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of the Presidency.

Representing the Basic Needs Trust Fund at today’s commissioning was Program Manager, Mr. Dikedemma Utoh. He said that the BNTF is a grant-funded programme of the CDB which began in 1979 and is presently in its ninth phase.

He said that the Early Childhood Development Centre was constructed under the BNTF’s eighth programme which was one of six pilot projects done across the coast of Guyana.

Meanwhile, Member of Parliament, Hon. Jennifer Wade gave brief remarks and said that Early Childhood Education is the foundation of education and is important in order to raise the nation’s children the right way.

Source:https://dpi.gov.gy/

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