The curriculum guide at ECCE Centres should be developmentally appropriate and must meet the needs of children, taking into account the environment in which they live. It should be implemented through meaningful activities and experiences for children, rather than presented as knowledge to be acquired or facts to be stored. Early Childhood Care and Education must bring the activities of home-life, the needs of families and communities into its curriculum and links among the home, the wider community and the ECCE centres must now become an over-riding concern of ECCE providers. A National Draft Curriculum Guide is presently being developed.
The establishment of standards for Early Childhood Services has been identified worldwide as a fundamental step towards a cohesive high quality national agenda for early childhood development. One of the commitments of the government’s 2020 vision is the improvement of the quality of Early Childhood provision and the introduction of standards of professional practice for Early Childhood Service providers and staff.
The National Council for Early Childhood Care and Education
This is a Cabinet appointed Body for Early Childhood Care and Education. One of its responsibilities is the introduction of appropriate legislation and administrative guidelines for the effective operation of all public and private ECCE centres in Trinidad and Tobago. The Council, re-established in May 2002, is comprised of representatives from the Ministries of Education, Health, Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs, The Office of the Prime Minister – Social Service Delivery, and other stakeholders, SERVOL, The Child Welfare League, The Tobago House of Assembly, Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA), The University of the West Indies, the Inter-Religious Organisation and the National Parent Teachers’ Association.
Early Childhood Care and Education Centre refers to all facilities providing learning support, care and development services to children from three to children under six years of age. Early Childhood Services (ECS) are here defined as all settings offering informal programmes to children under six, and include: Day Care Centres, Preschools, Kindergartens, Early Childhood Care and Education Centres, and Nurseries. The registered provider may therefore be a person, a partnership, group, church, committee, board, government ministry, non-governmental organisation or a company. The principle underlying Early Childhood Care and Education in Trinidad and Tobago is that all children can learn, and each child regardless of economic status, physical or emotional challenges, ethnic background or gender, has a right to high quality education.
The Education Act 1966, Chapter 39:1, Article 12, No. 1, The Public Health Order 1995, The Public Health Ordinance Chapter 12, and The Environment Management Authority (EMA) Building Regulations.