March 20, 2019
by Jamalco

The early childhood education system in central Jamaica is set to be further bolstered following the
graduation of the fifth and final cohort of teachers under the Advancing Childhood Education
Programme (ACEP) recently. The programme, which was funded by Jamalco and Noble Foundation,
was facilitated by the Mico University with support from the Early Childhood Commission of Jamaica.

During the one-year programme, teachers were trained in Literacy, Numeracy, Human Exceptionalities
and Child Development to introduce them to fundamental principles needed to guide and prepare
students to achieve the necessary mastery in critical areas at the early childhood level. The programme
also offered a parenting component geared towards equipping parents with the skills and knowledge
to become better parents. Training for the parents was conducted through a series of workshops
organized by the Early Childhood Commission.

Keynote speaker and Chairman of the Early Childhood Commission, Trisha Williams-Singh, noted that
it is important that the fundamentals of early childhood education is taught to every teacher because
of the difference it makes in the lives of children.
“The most impactful years of a child’s life is the first 1000 days and as adults, everything that we do
should be about them.”

Mrs. Williams Singh explained that with only 10 out of the 256 early childhood institutions in Clarendon
achieving the 12 operating standards, the early Childhood Commission is working “very hard to change
the attitude to early childhood education”.

She also implored the graduates not to accept the status quo. “Go back to your institutions and your
communities and help us work toward achieving the 12 standards,” she said.

Director of HR, Security and Corporate Services, Christopher Buckmaster, says ACEP was implemented
to address the low literacy and numeracy rates of students in its operating areas.

“We considered it prudent to invest in improving the early childhood system in Central Jamaica instead
of trying to implement remedial strategies years later when the damage would have been too great
to easily fix,” he said.

This was done by targeting educators, who often lacked the basic training to help their students
achieve the necessary mastery in critical subject areas.
Valedictorian of the graduating class, Areata Knight-Mitchell said ACEP was “a journey that changed
our lives for the better” and thanked the progamme facilitators “for imparting valuable information to

Meanwhile, graduate, Paula Montague-Rowe, said, “ACEP has truly transformed my life. When I
started the course, I was the unemployed mother of a special needs child; but, having embarked upon
this journey, I am now a part time teacher of literacy at Innswood High School and student at The
Mico University College… None of this would be possible without Jamalco.
Since its inception in 2009, over 400 early childhood practitioners have been trained and certified and
are now employed in early childhood institutions primarily in Clarendon and Manchester.

Posted in Giving Back
All posts

We Build Building and Great Homes.

We successfully cope with tasks of varying complexity, provide long-term guarantees and regularly master new technologies.

Get in touch

(+380) 50 318 47 07

65 Allerton Street 901 N Pitt Str, Suite 170, VA 22314, USA