Investing in Early Childhood Development in St. Kitts and Nevis

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“A dentist' mistake is pulled, a doctor' mistake is buried, but a teacher' mistake lives on. We all have an awesome responsibility of having children in our care at the most vulnerable period in their lives' journey and we just can't afford to mess up." This sentiment was shared with 41 Early Childhood Development (ECD) caregivers in St. Kitts and Nevis, who had successfully completed their Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Certification in Training of Nursery Caregivers (TOC). The thought-provoking words were delivered by Course Facilitator, Vanta Walters as she underscored the importance of ECD caregivers during the closing ceremony for the training. Learning tools for children up to three years old, created by participants of the Training of Caregivers component of the Early Childhood Development Capacity Building sub-project. The women, who are employed in ECD centres throughout rural and urban communities in St. Kitts and Nevis, underwent an intensive nine-week course which covered three modules: Stages of Child Development, Safety and Well Being of Children and Delivering Quality Customer Service. Likening the TVET certification to a Caribbean Examinations Council certificate, Azilla Clarke, Project Manager (Ag), Basic Needs Trust Fund noted that the trainees are among the first to receive the National Vocational Certificate. ECD Director (Ag), June Wallace thanked the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF) and the TVET Council for the investment in ECD, stating that as a result, trainees are now equipped to offer high-quality childhood programmes. The TOC course is just one component of the four-part BNTF Capacity-Building sub-project in ECD. Through the initiative, the 41 TOC graduates joined over 200 ECD administrators and assistants who received training in Leadership Principles and the Licensing of ECD centres, as well as Orientation for New Pre-School Teachers. Graduating participants of the Orientation Training of the New Preschool Teachers component with Education and BNTF officers (left to right, front row) Andrea Liddie, Facilitator; Nadine Natta, Education Officer; Juella Gumbs, Consultant Communications Officer, BNTF; Azilla Clarke, Project Manager (Ag), BNTF; June Wallace, Acting ECD Director (Ag.); Emileta Warner-Paul, Education Officer; Rosalind Otto, Facilitator; and Julianna Powell, Education Officer. The ECD Capacity-Building Skills Training project concluded in November.

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