Early Childhood Centers or daycares in Dominica have received twenty thousand dollars worth of early childhood education manipulatives from the Ministry Of Education and Human Resource Development.
These manipulatives are for the stimulation and growth of children between zero and three years.
In 2012, the Government of Dominica committed to providing more access to early childhood education. Today the ministry is taking its action one step further to extend its reach to day care centers and the Roving Care Givers Programme.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony on Wednesday morning, the Hon Minister For Education, Petter Saint Jean said not enough emphasis has been placed on children younger than pre-school age – 3 years. He called for a new approach.
“We need to rethink our approach and I wish to remind us that research continues to prove that while early childhood refers to the period of birth to eight years, the first three years are the most critical in ensuring a successful future,” he said.
There are currently 17 registered day care centers in Dominica with a total of 41 care givers for 240 children. The roving care givers programme, which began in july 2016 operates in a number of communities including Penville and the Kalinago Territory.
Hon Saint Jean spoke clearly to those care givers about their responsibility in shaping the next generation.
“This vision begins with you since you are the first institution of learning; you are the key in ensuring that our children receive a solid foundation, a good foundation for life.”
Assistant Education Officer in Early Childhood Development, Veda George says it is critical that children are given the proper stimulants at the right age.
She told care givers that their role must be more than just custodial and stated her expectations following the use of the learning materials.
“It is expected that following the handing over of these manipulatives, the quality of our programming at all our day-care centers will improve and our facilities will be able to meet not only national but regional and international standards.”