Sixty day care operators & caregivers benefit from ‘Learning through Play’ training

As we continue to celebrate child month in May, synergies between the Foundation for the Development of Caribbean Children (FDCC) and the Child Care Board were evident yesterday when they teamed up to provide training for more than sixty day-care providers and operators.

Participants were from the government and private day nurseries, pre-schools and other parenting and health organisations. The objective of the training was to provide sensitisation of early childhood institutions caregivers/operators as well as nursing staff in the learning through play and early stimulation resources.

Ms. Kay Musslewhite, FDCC Board Member, spoke of the importance of early childhood development in light of the Caribbean's history of investing significantly more in primary, secondary and tertiary education.

Ms. Kay Musslewhite, FDCC Board Member, spoke of the importance of early childhood development in light of the Caribbean’s history of investing significantly more in primary, secondary and tertiary education.

Ms. Musslewhite noted that early childhood is an important period as research shows that more than 75% of the brain is developed during the birth to three age range. She further explained that “at the start of every school year, 25-30% of Caribbean children are not ready for primary school education. If children struggle through primary school, they are likely to experience unsuccessful transition to secondary school. This in turn contributes to high dropout rates, low achievement, unemployment, teenage pregnancy, delinquency and crime.”

Ms. Joan Crawford, Director of the Child Care Board encouraged the participants to implement their new knowledge in their centres while Board Member and Chairman of the Day Care Committee, Ms. Andrea Brathwaite shared additional research on development during the early years, remarking that the partnership between FDCC and the Child Care Board is “timely“.

Mrs. Utealia Burrell of the Rural Family Support Organisation (RuFamSo), Jamaica led the day-long training, taking participants through practical exercises. As the sessions focused on the importance of play, Mrs. Burrell told participants that they must be willing to get on the floor, go outside and get dirty with the children in order to facilitate quality learning experiences. Participants were introduced to some new nursery rhymes and the evidenced based 'Learning through Play' calendars for birth to three and three to six year olds.

Mrs. Utealia Burrell of the Rural Family Support Organisation (RuFamSo), Jamaica led the day-long training, taking participants through practical exercises. As the sessions focused on the importance of play, Mrs. Burrell told participants that they must be willing to get on the floor, go outside and get dirty with the children in order to facilitate quality learning experiences. Participants were introduced to some new nursery rhymes and the evidenced based ‘Learning through Play‘ calendars for birth to three and three to six year olds.

FDCC Director of Operations Mr. Clive Murray also encouraged the participants to use the knowledge they’ve gained to improve their delivery of service to young children, “we need to allow our behaviour to reflect the things we believe in. And I believe that we all agree that our role as teachers, caregivers or facilitators, whatever we call ourselves, is to mould and nurture young and impressionable minds into successful and productive citizens”.

Launched in January 2012, the FDCC is the first indigenous non-profit foundation in the Caribbean dedicated to early childhood development. It builds on a 10-year platform of success created by the Caribbean Child Support Initiative, a programme that was introduced in 2002, dedicated to mainstream effective and high quality early childhood development and parenting support practices.

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