Basseterre, St. Kitts, October 14, 2016 (SKNIS): Twenty-five caregivers representing public and private nursery workers from across the Federation were recognized today for completing their training in a Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) sponsored programme, facilitated by the Early Childhood Development Unit (ECDU), entitled “Training of Caregivers” (TOC).


Their nine-week journey commenced on August 09, 2016, where the participants completed three modules from the National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET)  Early Childhood Programme. Module One, focused on demonstrating knowledge of stages of child development, Module Two focused on supporting the safety and wellbeing of children and Module Three focused on the delivery of quality customer service.


The objectives of this training were to increase the capacity of trained personnel in the birth to three cohort, to equip practitioners with skills and competencies needed to perform at maximum level; to improve the quality of childcare service within the birth to three cohort; to enable centre practitioners, who provide the service for children within the cohort, to meet required standards of the operation and to create a stimulating environment that will enable children to gain the fundamental skills and concepts needed for life.


It is the vision of the Early Childhood Development Unit to ensure that all children in St. Kitts and Nevis are provided with the opportunity to develop to their fullest potential.


In keeping with this vision, training of the practitioners is one of the main requirements that is necessary to meet this goal and ultimately the mission of the Early Childhood Development Unit.

Chairperson of the event, Julianna Powell, stated that the rationale of the training speaks to delivering quality service to the Federation and increasing the number of trained practitioners which are two major long term goals of the Early Childhood Development Unit and the Ministry of Education.


“Achieving these goals will fulfil the ultimate mission of the ECDU, which is to improve the quality of service in the early childhood sector throughout the Federation,” said Ms. Powell.


She explained that the existing situation is that the majority of the practitioners in the birth to three cohort were not exposed to any formal training that will equip them with the skills and competencies suitable for childcare services.


She added that the private providers are placed at a disadvantage because they offer very little training opportunities to their staff. “This makes it difficult for them to attract qualified and experienced persons in the service.”


Emelita Warner-Paul, Education Officer, said that the sessions afforded the trainees the assurance to provide quality service.


Addressing the trainees, she said that they must stand “head and shoulders” to who are yet to traverse their journey. She added that they can deem themselves privileged to be among the first care givers to be trained in the TVET Nursery Care Programme.

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