Preschools fail to meet teaching standards

The first two Cayman preschools inspected under a new assessment framework have been found lacking in providing enough education for the children in their care. Both Bright Start Early Learning Centre and Tiffany’s Pre-School were judged to be weak in meeting the standards of the new framework.

Both schools were found to provide a safe and nurturing environment, according to the reports, which were released last week. There were adequate play opportunities for children, and parent surveys showed a high degree of satisfaction.

But when it came to meeting the requirements of the Cayman Islands Early Years Curriculum, neither school was found to be performing well.

“Teaching was judged weak because planning and assessment processes were weak, as were the majority of lessons observed,” the report on Bright Start said.

At Tiffany’s, inspector’s found “staff did not challenge children sufficiently. Tasks were often too easy and not matched to children’s individual needs. Children did not have enough opportunities to satisfy their curiosity.”

Rochelle Dilbert, of Bright Start, did not respond to a message left at the school.

Karen Ebanks, owner of Tiffany’s Pre-School, said she has been running her business for 20 years and has never had a problem. She said there has not been adequate time to respond to the new rules, which were approved this summer.

“They’re introducing something new,” Ms. Ebanks said. “We weren’t given the time frame to put that into effect.” She and her staff “weren’t too happy” with some of the findings, she said. But they are planning changes.

Inspectors will revisit both facilities within the next six months for follow-up surveys.

In the meantime, Ms. Ebanks said, “We’re going to have someone come in and work with us. We’re always open to new things.”

Copies of the full reports are available at www.oes.gov.ky.