Model Early Childhood Guide launches

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Early Childhood Development (ECD) practitioners in the Caribbean now have a practical guide that will help them to design programmes for all early learners in the region.
The Caribbean Early Childhood Good Practice Guide, a collaboration between the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the UNICEF Eastern Caribbean branch was launched this week during a regional ECD conference that ended yesterday at the Jolly Beach Resort.
The publication, which is sensitive to the realities in the Caribbean, draws on the experiences and lessons learnt by regional ECD practitioners and has been informed by consultations across the region.
Leon Charles, a consultant on the project, spoke about the guide during the opening of the three-day conference Tuesday night.
He said the document focuses on eight key areas deemed essential to early childhood practices; it also looks at the entire lifecycle of the child from birth to five years.
The eight-key areas include: designing early childhood policies; standards for early childhood development; early intervention to identify challenges; early stimulation of children zero to three; pre-school curriculum and programme delivery; the design of learning environments; teacher and practitioner training; and parent engagement.
“What you actually have is literally a step by step how to do it manual. So, if we identified four areas which were important to a particular element, then the guide shows you how these four areas were successfully done in the manual,” Charles said.
He said the guide presents examples of good practices from 14 Caricom countries and the associated states.
“It also analyses the enabling factors for good practices, we identified the challenges with implementation and then show the link to the results which we achieved by each country,” Charles said.
It is hoped that the guide will inform the improvement of existing programmes in support of early childhood development.

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