NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (June 01, 2019) — The following is an address by Hon. Troy Liburd, Junior Minister of Education on Nevis to mark the start of Child Month 2019.
Fellow citizens, Residents and Friends,
I greet you at this time, on the occasion of the commencement of Child Month 2019. As we have come to know, the month of June is celebrated as Child month, here in our Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis.
It is a time that we have set aside to celebrate our little ones, and to highlight the advancements being made in the area of early childhood education. Our theme for this year is “Celebrating our Progress as a Nation, 35 years of Early Stimulation.”
We recognize that children are the future of our society and that they have a right to a quality childhood, one that allows them the best opportunities for quality development in multiple facets of life;
- An accepting environment, that allows for individual differences and does not discriminate based on individual capability, health, developmental, economic or social status, or cultural background;
- An environment surrounded by caring and responsible adults who help them develop self-confidence and the ability to make appropriate choices and decisions;
- An environment that promotes and supports good health and nutrition;
- An environment in which they can express their feelings: joy, curiosity, hunger, fear, happiness and receive an appropriate response from adults;
- A nurturing environment that provides opportunities for meaningful relationships with both children and adults;
- A supportive environment which fosters development at a pace appropriate to each individual child and where children can explore and initiate their own learning;
- A rich and responsive language environment, both verbal and written;
- An environment that reinforces and celebrates their developmental accomplishments and guides the practice of newly-acquired skills;
- A dependable environment that will serve to counter the stress of insecurity experienced by all children during normal growth and change;
- A nurturing environment that protects them from inappropriate disapproval, teasing and/or punishment.
Parents and families are a child’s first teacher and should accept this responsibility by committing the time, energy and resources needed for good parenting.
We are fortunate in Nevis to have a comprehensive system of early childhood services, to have developed and implemented policies that recognize the childhood experience as a major determinant of a child’s later success or risk of failure.
At present on Nevis, we have four public centres and 22 registered private centres, offering early childhood services. We have active parent-teachers associations at these institutions that help to foster that partnership between parents and institutions.
Keen attention is given to training for teachers and caregivers. We have seen the introduction of the Early Childhood Associates Degree Programme at the Clarence Fitzroy Bryant College (CFBC.) We have seen a number of individuals go off to get degrees at the Bachelor’s level in Early Childhood Education. All of these serve to improve the quality of early childhood education.
A number of projects and programmes geared toward the improvement of early learning have been ongoing. These include:
- Reaching the Unreached Program
- Servol Training for Early Childhood Practitioners
- Revised Policy, Minimum Standards and operation Manual
- Early Childhood Curriculum (High Scope)
- Development of the Developmental Milestone Checklist
- First Aid Training
- Professional Development Sessions
- Licensing and Registering process for early childhood centres.
As we commemorate the 35th anniversary of Child Month celebrations, I encourage you to support our early childhood centres and our children in the various activities. We invite you to join us for the Child Month church service on June 02. We also look forward to the annual parade on June 07, Dancing with the Stars on June 05, the virtues-based Prince and Princess Show on June 14 and the various parent sensitization sessions.
My friends, if we truly believe that the children are the future, then let us take time out to show them love and attention, to nurture them, to train them in the way they should go, so that when they are grown, they do not depart from it.
I take pleasure in inviting each and every one of you to be a part of all the activities for child month 2019.