Director of the Early Childhood Development Unit, Kimona Browne

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- Unregistered persons, who are providing early childhood services are being urged to register to ensure compliance with child safety standards, according to Director of the Early Childhood Development Unit, Kimona Browne.

“Presently, we observed a few unregistered persons advertising and offering early childhood services to the public,” said Ms. Browne, speaking at the September 23 National Emergency Operations Centre Press Briefing. “Truthfully, the Early Childhood Development Unit (ECDU) welcomes additional spaces to meet the high demand for accommodating young children in the sector. However, standards can be broken down and threaten the safety and well-being of our children when we fail to meet standards and guidelines of service.”

She stated that all unregistered persons can visit the Early Childhood Development Unit to begin the process of registration and approval.

“The ECDU and the Ministry of Education welcome you, and ask you to come speedily to us,” said Ms. Browne. “You can contact the ECDU at telephone numbers 466-2810 or 465-2369.”

Ms. Browne said that all persons who want to operate an early childhood facility must first apply to the Early ECDU. All applicants will be interviewed to ascertain the suitability of the applicant to operate an ECDU.

She added that if deemed suitable, an appointment can be made to have the proposed site inspected. At that time, the early childhood officers will inspect the facility and advise on the suitability of the premises for an early childhood service and its operating capacity. If a new building is to be constructed, advice will also be given on this.

Ms. Browne noted that if a proposed centre is to be located in the applicant’s home, checks will be made on each person of that household including regular visitors to the home. Findings will determine ability to operate.

For persons wishing to obtain more information, inquiries should be made at the ECDU for an appointed interview.