Children retain more at an early age than at any other time during their education. As a result, the Ministry of Education, Training and Employment has emphasised the need for all children to have a strong foundation, which is a priority in education reform in the Cayman Islands.
Early childhood practitioners from both public and private institutions have been taking the Early Years Introduction Course facilitated by the Early Childhood Care and Education Unit in the Ministry of Education. This course provides base level training in order for practitioners to provide a strong foundation for children.
On Thursday, 16 February, 12 practitioners in Cayman Brac received certificates of completion and on Monday, 20 February, 84 practitioners in Grand Cayman received certification.
Each of the practitioners at the ceremonies interacts with children ages 6 months to 5 years. A main focus of the unit is to teach students through play. The training also gave practitioners the tools and resources to follow the new curriculum.
Cayman Brac practitioners celebrated at the Brac Reef Beach Resort with Deputy Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly. Senior Policy Adviser for ECCE Julie Madgwick and Early Childhood Officer April Tibbetts also attended.
In Grand Cayman, the celebration took place at Mary Miller Hall. Ministry of Education Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues spoke to the practitioners, saying, “Thank you all for participating with us. We are so delighted to be able to provide our children with highly trained individuals.”
Premier McKeeva Bush was on hand with the practitioners in Grand Cayman and said, “All of our children deserve quality learning experiences with caring and knowledgeable adults. You nurture and support our children from infancy to primary levels. Your training shows you the best practices to implement in each of the centres and I applaud you all for participating.”
Minister of Education Rolston Anglin added, “Great teachers can inspire young minds, and young people, despite their circumstances, can prevail,” he said. “I am so pleased at the number of you that have completed the initial training and thank you for all of your diligent work and your continued support to the Early Childhood Curriculum.”