BNTF Contributes to Gender Socialisation in Early Childhood Development

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Today, December 9, 2013, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), through its Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) programme, kicks off its Regional Gender Socialisation workshop for Early Childhood Development (ECD) Practitioners at the Fort Young Hotel in Dominica, under the auspices of the Government of the Commonwealth of Dominica. The objectives of the workshop are to improve teaching skills in imparting knowledge, and to promote gender-responsive childhood learning in pre-schools. BNTF Portfolio Manager, CDB, Mrs. Darran Newman Belgrave, stated, "We recognise that improving gender socialisation practices in early childhood development is important to building healthier communities. Future leaders will be born in our communities, and our communities must have learning environments which are more gender-sensitive and child-friendly. This workshop is a physical embodiment of the BNTF theme, ‘Adding Value and Strength to Our Communities.' CDB, through its BNTF Programme, has invested in ECD infrastructure in the Region, including Construction and refurbishment of day-care facilities, pre-schools and primary schools. The Bank has also given grants to the Roving Caregivers Programme as part of the Caribbean Child Support Initiative, the Foundation for the Development of Caribbean Children, community groups and public agencies with responsibility for social development and education. Participants in the workshop include direct beneficiaries of BNTF funding in the early childhood sub-sector, specifically teachers, caregivers, principals and supervisors from the public and private sectors. The workshop will provide case material and recommendations for enhancing teaching skills among ECD practitioners for challenging traditional gender stereotypes. BNTF will also collaborate with the CARICOM Working Group on ECD, Parenting Partners Caribbean, and members of the Caribbean Association of National Training Agencies (CANTA) on the development of resource materials and a curriculum towards a certified programme for ECD teachers.The ten BNTF participating Member Countries are: Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Turks and Caicos Islands. The event is supported by the Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD), formerly Canadian International Development Agency, which funded the BNTF fifth cycle.

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