Twenty daycare centres in Berbice licensed
DPI, GUYANA, Monday, October 16, 2017
The first group of Early Childhood/Day Care centres was officially licensed by the Childcare and Protection Agency (CPA) in East Berbice-Corentyne district on Monday.
The twenty (20) licensed facilities, located between Skeldon and East Bank Berbice are among some thirty-seven (37) within the district. Minister of Social Protection, Amna Ally urged the remaining seventeen (17) centres to register in order to receive accreditation.
Speaking to the recently licensed childcare representatives, Minister Ally urged the maintenance of high standards, and delivery of safe and developmentally appropriate services to ensure the holistic growth of their charges. Referring to studies, the minister noted that children who attend high-quality child care programmes are more likely to do well in school.
The Ministry of Social Protection has been working to ensure that there is adequate documentation for Early Childhood/Day Care centres, and training for personnel. Based on reports from the CPA, to date, over 200 centres have been registered, and 53 licensed.
Daycare owners and early childcare providers must satisfy the criteria outlined by the Guyana Fire Service, and the Buildings and Public Health Unit of the Georgetown Mayor and City Council before they are certified. This entails completing the CPA’s registration form, providing a valid police clearance, food handler’s certificate and medical certificate to be accredited. The documents must be submitted for the approval of CPA before opting for a license.
Chief Executive Officer of the St Francis Community Developers, Alex Foster noted that a similar licensing system, crafted by the Food for the Poor Guyana and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) under the previous administration was not implemented. He commended the government for ensuring that these bodies are licensed and the necessary personnel trained.
Minister Ally reiterated that CPA will continue to monitor and improve the level of service provided by daycare centres, and is amenable to the establishment of a 24-hour Centre.
To date, daycare facilities have been licensed in Regions two and ten while efforts continue to have more licensed before year end.
By: Zanneel Williams