Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 25, 2013 (SKNIS): The Early Childhood Development Unit (ECDU) recently marked the culmination of its Reaching the Unreached Programme (RTU) for home caregivers as the Unit continues to ensure that these individuals are not left behind in updated skills and knowledge regarding early childhood development.

The RTU Programme was designed to take a series of training modules to the homes of the caregivers children from of birth to three-year-olds, to alleviate the inconvenience of leaving their homes to attend monthly workshops organised by the ECDU. A total of twenty early childhood practitioners focused on the critical factors of Brain Development as well as Early Stimulation and Training during the sessions.

Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education Clarice Cotton stated that Early Childhood Education is highly regarded in the Ministry.

“It is the foundation of education. It is where the foundation for learning is laid,” she said. “The Ministry of Education continues to give its fullest support to the Early Childhood Development Unit as it excels in providing high quality care and Education to our nation’s children.”

Ms. Cotton stressed that training is an important aspect of Early Childhood and explained that its mission is to provide high quality care and education for the maximum number of children in their early years of life and to facilitate collaboration between the family, community and those who are providing early childhood care and education in order to prepare the children for primary school and life in general.

“This statement is clearly supported by the training which was delivered from January to October of this year,” she noted. “During that training you gained new knowledge and skills in order to help you as practitioners provide high quality care for our nation’s youngest children.”

EDCU Director Jacquelyn Morris acknowledged the efforts of the home caregivers to keep abreast of the advancements being made in early childhood education.

“I want to congratulate you…You made the right decision to participate in the training initiative organised by the Early Childhood Development Unit,” she stated. “I want to especially applaud those of you who attended all or almost all of the training sessions. It reflects the high value you have placed on training and becoming a skilled caregiver.”

Topics covered included the importance of early childhood and brain development, the importance of record keeping, important elements of work ethics, money management, social security and you, literacy for young children and early stimulation.

The RTU Programme was established in 1996 by Vanta Walters, Past ECDU Coordinator.

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