Letters & Opinion

Early Childhood Practitioners Make an Appeal

The National Association of Early Childhood Practitioners came into existence in 2016, with a view to bring together all personnel of the Early Childhood sector inclusive of administrators and practitioners. As this is an island wide organization, it was necessary to divide the island into clusters thereby getting all involved in the development of the sector. Currently, there are 58 centres registered and over 128 affiliated members.

The members of the Association have been hard hit with the Covid-19 pandemic. The powers that be have failed to realize the significant role that this sector plays in the education System. We have been totally ignored. Our Association has made several attempts to reach the relevant Ministers, Parliamentary Representatives of the various communities, and the Prime Minister to no avail.

All daycares and Preschools have been closed for the past four months with no income. We have now been given the all clear to open with a long list of protocols to be put in place and no stimulus package. How are we to open our Centres with all protocol in place with no assistance?

We do not dispute the fact that every sector has been affected. We empathize with other sectors such as taxi drivers and hotel workers, however, we hear their names being mentioned. Never once were preschools mentioned.

Administrators have been hard hit by the Corona virus. Rent has been a source of concern – electricity, water, and telephone bills are unpaid.  Teachers at these centres are unemployed. It is very unfortunate that this sector has ignored, and no assistance is forth coming. We are the ones who are molding the minds of our future statesmen and women; our doctors and Lawyers skilled and unskilled workers.

The Association has taken the bull by the horns and collaborated with local film producer Collin Weekes to produce our own Early Childhood TV programme. We are asking the public to assist us by supporting our Fund-raising Television Program dubbed “Lucian Kinder Pals”, which will come on stream hopefully by mid-July. This programme will be aired on the Government Information Service (NTN).

This is our local Sesame Street programme with our Practitioners bringing Early Stimulation to the homes for our Pre- schoolers.  Our plea to listeners is to make a commitment that every man, woman, aunty, and uncle make at least a $20.00 donation. If each person gives at least $20.00; and corporate institutions make bigger donations we can meet our goal of $20,000.00.

Our Account number at the St Lucia Teachers Credit Union is account No. D5006 in Vieux Fort or Castries. For more information please contact the P.R.O Mr Greenidge Moses on 519-9604.

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