Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 24, 2014 (SKNIS): In commemoration of the 30 th Anniversary of Child Month, an awards ceremony and dinner was held last Saturday (June 21) to recognise the hard work and dedication of 42 past and present contributors to the development of children. At the ceremony, held at Manhattan Gardens in Lime Kiln Development, Chief education Officer Clarice Cotton singled out two major contributors to early childhood development, Leonie V. James and Vanta Ellerdene Walters. She noted that these two proved to be pioneers in their field due to their professionalism and commitment to early childhood education. She added that they have positively influenced Early Childhood supervisors, resource teachers and other persons with whom they worked. The Chief Education Officer mentioned that St. Kitts and Nevis is the Caribbean Region’s leader in Early Childhood Education. “This is demonstrated by a number of countries who have asked to come to St. Kitts to look at what we have to offer in Early Childhood,”Ms. Cotton stated. “And they are able to do this because of the hard work that is demonstrated day-to-day in our centres, in our preschools, in our nurseries. …Because of the hard work that you put in on a daily basis people have come from all the OECS countries and even as far away as Bahamas to visit our Early Childhood Centres and to see what we have to offer and to copy what we have to offer.”Ms. Cotton urged all the awardees to continue what they are doing and keep improving so that the children they serve will have the best foundation they can have as they move through the education system. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Child Month at 30 – Celebrating Our Achievements.”Upcoming events include a costume festival depicting themes of Carnival City on June 24 and a Grand Parade on June 27.