Day care centres to be licensed

Georgetown GINA, June 08, 2016

Day care centres across the country will now be licensed. This is as the Ministry of Social Protection, Department of Child Care and Protection rolls out its Early Childhood Development Programme, to ensure these facilities adherence of set standards.

The intention is to ensure that children are enrolled in safe, secure and infant-friendly Day Care Services that adhere to certain standards.

Director, Child Care Protection Agency, Ann Greene, says that the Agency was able to get the regulation for the Child Care and Development Services Act of 2011, which allows them to license day care facilities.

“For some time now we were trying to get that really on-stream…We were able to get the regulations for that Act, the Child Care and Development Services Act. The regulations are out and its being gazetted and now we are licensing our first set of day care facilities,” Greene explained. The Act was assented to by President David Granger and gazetted in September 2015.

There are some 280 day care facilities countrywide, for which the Social Protection Ministry has the responsibility to ensure that they are registered and licensed. The Ministry’s’ Early Childhood and Development Unit has been conducting regular visits to these facilities.

The Child Care and Protection Agency Head, told the Government Information Agency (GINA), that the agency will be launching an awareness programme to educate parents and caregivers to help them understand that the early years of a child’s life are very important.

She noted that studies have shown that, “inadequate day care, there is a correlation with juvenile offending and even offending in adulthood.” In others words, even if the child is not in a day care facility and is at home with the parents, the parents must ensure that the child is exposed to positive early childhood experiences.

Guyana has taken the first step in ensuring the Early Childhood Development sector operates with standards. These include the development of healthy, well-adjusted children; ensuring children have the ability to communicate effectively and guarantee that the children’s culture are respected; ensure that the foundation is laid for children to develop into critical-thinking adults and  there are “positive discipline practices” for children with behavioural challenges.

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