The Institute of Early Childhood Development (IECD) held its last certification ceremony for the 7th and 8th group of childminders who have successfully completed the pre-registration and sensitisation programme on the National Standards for Childminding Services.
The ceremony took place at the Eden Bleu Hotel on Saturday evening.
A total of 50 participants were recognised and presented with their certificates of attendance in the presence of Minister for Family and Social Affairs Mitcy Larue, among other dignitaries.
The participants, who represent IECD’S last group of training participants but also the second-largest cohort, successfully completed the training over a period of nine Saturdays on both Mahé and Praslin.
Through experience-based and hands-on activities, the childminders and daycare assistants learned more about the ten national standards for early childhood care and education (ECCE), namely, Early Learning, Interaction, Health, Nutrition, Safety, Children’s Rights and Protection, Staffing, Physical Environment, Family and Community Engagement and Administration.
As has been the case for the past five years since IECD has been running the programme, training sessions were facilitated by experts from sectors engaged in ECCE and who work in close partnership with IECD, including Health, Education, Social Affairs, Local Government and the Seychelles Fire and Rescue Services Agency (SFRSA).
In his opening address, chairperson of the IECD board, Captain David Savy, highlighted the noteworthy milestones and accomplishments of IECD over the past decade, which culminated in IECD being recognised as a Unesco Global Category II Institute for ECCE in November 2019, earning the country a reputation as a global leader in this field.
Captain Savy also congratulated all the participants, partners and staff of IECD who have helped to coordinate the programme for potential home-based childminders since 2015.
“As the chairman of the IECD board, together with the dedicated staff and government agencies, we have had the opportunity to put in place various initiatives related to ECCE, to benefit our 0-7 year olds. I have had the opportunity to experience first-hand the significant transformation and progress in the childhood sector over the past few years. This positive evolution would not have been possible without the collective effort of all partners, stakeholders and government,” he said.
“The importance of caring for the very young, aged between 0-3 years, cannot be over-emphasised. It is an instrumental part of the institute’s strategic plan and national agenda for placing emphasis on ECCE, and the holistic development of our youngest members of society,” Captain Savy stated, congratulating the participants on their success, and wishing them the best of luck in their endeavours.
Over the past five years, the IECD has equipped 276 childminders with knowledge and skills on the different aspects of child development and also on how to ensure a safe and nurturing environment for the holistic development of every child from 0 to 4 years old, through the programme.
It was however the last training delivered by IECD, as it is being discontinued and being replaced by the new accredited and award-bearing training programme entitled ‘Certificate for Child Care and Development’, offered by the Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education (SITE).
Individuals wishing to work as a day-care assistant, childminder or assistant childminder can now attend this one-year programme that will be offered as from 2021. The flagship ECCE training programme has been developed by IECD in partnership with SITE and is expected to be accredited by the Seychelles Qualifications Authority (SQA) within coming weeks.
Partner organisations who have supported IECD in offering the training programme were also presented with a token of appreciation on behalf of IECD, while IECD facilitators were presented with tokens from the last cohort of trainees.
Laura Pillay – Nation.sc