Parents, practitioners and institutions in the Early Childhood sub-sector, was acknowledged for their contributions in the sector, by the Early Childhood Department in the Ministry of Education, National Reconciliation, Ecclesiastical Affairs, and Information.
The event dubbed 'Child Month 2018 Prize Giving Ceremony', was held on Friday, 15th June 2018, at Frenches House.
Chief Education Officer, Ms. Beverly Neptune, commended the Early Childhood Department for taking the time out to celebrate and appreciate early childhood educators, practitioners and parents. “The closing of Child’s Month is the most appropriate time to recognize the important role that you early childhood educators play in the most critical learning stage of our children’s lives," she said. She further noted that, the fact that early childhood educators and practitioners show up for work early and leave late to ensure the safety of the childre, warrants them more appreciation from parents, the Ministry of Education and by all other stakeholders.
Chief Education Officer, Ms. Beverly Neptune
The Chief Education Officer also acknowledged the work which has been done in the Early Childhood sub-sector by private operators, churches and Non-Governmental Organisations. “I also applaud the Government’s move towards Early Childhood Education, given that research suggests that the foundation of any nation rests on the quality and accessibility of early childhood care and development of all children," Ms. Neptune said. She also applauded the Best Practices Award, one of the awards categories in this year’s prize-giving ceremony. “I applaud this gesture as many of our practitioners and educators demonstrate best practices, even while we await the ratification of the Early Childhood Learning Standards.," she noted.
President of the National Association for Early Childhood Education (NAECE), Ms. Esther Pompey, also congratulated the Ministry of Education for hosting its Annual Recognition Ceremony. She said that the NAECE will put measures in place to honour its commitment to reward eligible practitioners, who are, or will be enrolled, at the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Community College, Division of Teacher Education, or the University of the West Indies, to pursue studies in Early Childhood Education, as they seek to broaden their knowledge in this field.
President of NAECE, Esther Pompey
Senior Education Officer with responsibility for Early Childhood Education, Ms. Gwenette Cambridge, dedicated her speech to the late Mrs. Judith Hull-Ballah, whom she said was instrumental in her choosing a path in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Cambridge noted that, although she came from a background of Secondary Education, Mrs. Ballah was very supportive of her becoming involved in Early Childhood Education. The Senior Education Officer said that the idea of recognising persons who made an indelible mark on the lives of the children, did not just start with her, it started many years ago. “It might not have been fine tuned to this level, but it started many years ago, and that is why I started off by recognizing Mrs. Judith Hull-Ballah," she said.
Senior Education Officer in Early Childhood Education Gwenette Cambridge
Ms. Cambridge also said that we must develop a culture of saying thank you, because, when people feel appreciated, they feel a sense of self-worth, and that is what underpins the Early Childhood Department’s thought of hosting a National Awards Ceremony at this level.
Ms. Cambridge, who spent the last decade in Early Childhood Education, and who will be leaving the sector soon; thanked the Ministry of Education for the opportunity to serve, noting that she has finished the course, and would have done her best.
The three categories of awards were: Parents Award, Best Practices Award and Practitioners Award. The Parents Award went to the parents who, not only care for their own children, but that of the other children, and are always supportive of the Early Childhood Center that their child attends. The Best Practices Award was given to the schools that demonstrate the best standards, and the Practitioners Award went to the teachers who are dependable, responsible, and are able to manage the Early Childhood Centers in the absence of the owner.
This is the third year that the Early Childhood Department is hosting a prize-giving ceremony to recognise the contributions of those in Early Childhood Education. Awards and certificates were sponsored by businesses in Kingstown.