Basseterre: St. Kitts, Monday July 12, 2021: The Early Childhood Development Unit (ECDU) within the Ministry of Education engaged private proprietors and supervisors of the various early childhood centres in meetings on the way forward for the reopening of day care centres following a closed down prompted by a community spread of the current Covid-19 virus. These sessions were held on Monday July 12 at the ICCS school auditorium.

Ms. Kimona Brown, Director of the Early Childhood Unit reminded centre owners and supervisors of the need to adhere to the already established Covid-19 protocols and informed that there would be additional operating procedures that should be followed in the best children and staff.

“The purpose the meeting this afternoon is to inform our private proprietors and public supervisors of the way forward in reopening the centres. We are confident that a few improvements to the already established early childhood protocols, that this sector is well positioned to resume operations with effect from Wednesday July 14.”

Ms. Browne outlined the improvements to the operating procedures for the centres.

“All Early Childhood Development centre staff are to utilize face shields in addition to masks to minimize exposure to respiratory droplets that can result during daily care and education of children. Finally, all staff are to utilize aprons when working, to further protect their personal health and wellness”.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Mr. William Vincent Hodge addressed the issue of implementation and compliance.

“We know that the country is opening gradually. Parents are expected to return to work; hence the need for the early childhood sector to be operational so that they can continue to take care of the infants and preschoolers who cannot be left at home by themselves. We are hoping that there will be much compliance because we understand that we have to try to keep the virus at bay, out of any or our preschools because once the virus gets into our preschools, then it means that centre/ preschool will have to close.”

Mr. Hodge expressed that monitoring the centres for compliance is the responsibility of the Early Childhood Unit.

“The Early Childhood staff, the resource teachers will be coming around to the centres to ensure that the standards are being implemented. We don’t want to have to make a recommendation to close a centre because it is not compliant”, he said.

Mr. Hodge also expressed that the Ministry of Education will providing assistance through a donation of face shields to the Early Childhood centres and appeal to the private proprietors to adhere to the established operational protocols instituted by the Early Childhood Development Unit.

“The Ministry of Education continues to ensure that educating our nation’s youths remained at the top-priority as we adjust to life in a pandemic”, he said.

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