OECS, UNICEF Supporting Early Childhood Development

Early Childhood Development

PRESS RELEASE – LEVERAGING support for a multi-integrated approach to early childhood development is the focus of an ongoing series of consultations being held in the OECS as the region seeks to move away from “silo” operations.

Early Childhood Development

Early childhood development (ECD) is a shared responsibility among families, health, education and social services departments. This multi-sectoral partnership is the foundation and rationale for developing an integrated operational framework for the ECD sector, as high-quality early childhood services require strong management and supervision of service delivery.

The OECS Commission’s Education Development Management Unit (EDMU), with support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), held a series of two-day consultations from January 15-16 in Antigua and Barbuda and January 18-19 in St. Vincent and the Grenadines to discuss the integration which will focus on service delivery, policies and planning and will serve as a base to support continued provision and coordination of high quality services.

Outcomes will include:
Improved coordination, provision and arrangements of ECD services;
Appropriate ECD policies, standards, management practices and programmes;
Improved quality and access to ECD services;
Improved teacher quality and professional development at the ECD level;
Early identification of children at-risk; and
Holistic responses to children and family’s needs.

The EDMU plans to continue engaging stakeholders across the sub-region to leverage support for an integrated approach – a shift from operating in silos, or standalone services, to a multi-sectoral model of service delivery within the ECD sector.
Similar consultations are scheduled to take place in Dominica in May.

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