Early Childhood Care and Development to be Addressed at Regional Forum in St. Vincent

The event will take place in the capital of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Kingstown.

The forum is being organised by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat in partnership with the Caribbean Child Support Initiative and according to reports, it will explore practical strategies from all levels for supporting the development of children zero to three, especially the most vulnerable, with the aim of: 1) sensitizing influential policy making personnel in government; 2).creating a greater awareness of the need to provide direct support to the development for children zero to three; and 3) solidifying the need for mainstreaming early childhood programming for children zero to three, particularly for the vulnerable, through government ministries for sustainability of child development in the Caribbean Community.

The forum brings together resource persons from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Parenting Partners Caribbean, together with representatives of social development initiatives and parenting programmes, with support from UNICEF, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the government of St Vincent and the Grenadines, to assist government representatives to identify practical strategies for support of children zero to three years, and to develop a potential menu of options for national application.

In addition, the Foundation for the Development of Caribbean Children (FDCC) will also be launched on the first day of the forum. The FDCC is the region’s first indigenous, private foundation dedicated to early childhood development with a vision for Caribbean children from all social and economic backgrounds to have equal opportunities to reach their maximum potential.

The FDCC evolved from the Caribbean Child Support Initiative (CCSI), which is an early childhood development organization (ECD) and family support programme aimed at strengthening the care environment of young children birth to three years old.

(Parts of this article were written with content submitted in a Caribbeannewsnow publication)

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