start them right

Topics: Childhood, Child development, Developmental psychology Pages: 44 (6955 words) Published: September 19, 2014
START THEM RIGHT
A User Guide to the Early Childhood Act, Regulations and Standards for the Operation of Early Childhood Institutions in Jamaica.

©2007 Early Childhood Commission
Produced with the assistance of Maxine McDonnough
Designed by Jason McKenzie
The Early Childhood Commision wishes to thank all the children EC practitioners and parents whose photographs have truly enhanced this User Guide.

CONTENTS
Introduction............................................................................................. 1 User Guide............................................................................................... 5 Standard 1:

Staffing...............................................................................6

Standard 2:

Developmental and Educational Programmes........................ 9

Standard 3:

Interactions and Relationships with Children........

Standard 4:

Physical Environment........................................................ 14

Standard 5:

Indoor and Outdoor Equipment, Furnishing and Supplies.... 17

Standard 6:

Health...............................................................................20

Standard 7:

Nutrition...........................................................................24

Standard 8:

Safety...............................................................................26

Standard 9:

Child Rights, Child Protection and Equality........................ 29

12

Standard 10: Interaction with Parents and Community Members...............31 Standard 11: Administration...................................................................34 Standard 12: Finance.............................................................................38 Appendix 1: Registering an Early Childhood Institution.......................... 42 Appendix 2: The Role of the Early Childhood Commission.....................44 THE EARLY CHILDHOOD COMMISSION

INTRODUCTION
The Importance of Early Childhood Development
The care that children receive in the first six to eight years of life will determine the adults that they will become. These are the years when the foundation for growth and development; health and nutrition; physical, social, language, creative and cognitive abilities is laid. The experiences children have and the way in which they interact with their parents, family members, other adults and caregivers influence the way they learn and behave. These experiences continue to influence them when they become teenagers and adults.

The Importance of Early Childhood Institutions
Almost all Jamaican children attend early childhood institutions (ECIs) in the first few years of their lives. An ECI is defined as any place that cares for four or more children under the age of six years for up to six hours per day. This includes nurseries, centres or homes which offer day care, basic schools, kindergartens, preschools, and infant schools. Children, therefore, spend many of the hours of their early years in ECIs with caregivers and teachers. One way in which Jamaican children can be provided with a good start in life is to ensure that all ECIs provide services that promote children's development.

The Role of the Government of Jamaica
The Government of Jamaica has undertaken the responsibility of ensuring that all Jamaican children have access to quality early childhood development programmes so that they can become healthy, well-balanced adults and self-sufficient citizens. In order to achieve this goal, important laws were passed to guide early childhood development in Jamaica.

Laws to Guide Early Childhood Development
The Early Childhood Commission Act (2003), set up a special body, the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) to coordinate all early childhood activities and develop appropriate plans and programmes for the entire early childhood sector. One important function of the ECC is to supervise and regulate early childhood institutions (ECIs)...
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