Minister for Education, Dr. Justin Valentin, paid a visit to the Institute of Early Childhood Development (IECD) on Friday 19th January 2024, where he was warmly welcomed by the Chairman of the IECD board, Capt. David Savy and the CEO of IECD, Mrs. Shirley Choppy. This visit marked an important occasion for the Institute, in support of its recent international mandate as a Category 2 Institute for Early Childhood Care and Education, under the auspices of UNESCO.

The Minister began his visit by touring the new IECD office and its facilities at Fairview Building in Perseverance, taking the opportunity to greet all the staff and extending his best wishes and compliments for the New Year. It was an excellent opportunity for him to meet the dedicated professionals who work tirelessly for the betterment of early childhood development in Seychelles under the guidance of the CEO and the Board.

Later, the Minister addressed staff members, sharing words of encouragement and reiterating his appreciation and support for this year’s full execution of the Institute’s international mandate. He acknowledged the importance of early childhood development in shaping the future of education and emphasized the need to remain consistent, focused and continue striving for excellence in this field.

The Minister’s visit was followed by IECD’s first General Staff Meeting of 2024, where the heads of each section and unit within the Institute had the opportunity to present their plans and activities for the year. This is in line with the Institute’s Strategic Planning Framework and the UNESCO Agreement.

The IECD, as a UNESCO Category 2 Institute, plays a central role in advocating and promoting early childhood development, not just in the country, but regionally and globally. Through its quality assurance and regulatory, research and knowledge production, advocacy and capacity-building programmes and initiatives, the Institute strives to further enhance the quality of early childhood care and education and ensure that every child has access to a strong foundation for his or her holistic development and lifelong learning.

The Minister expressed his continuous support for IECD and its important mandate to lead and provide strategic direction for the development of early childhood care and education, emphasing the importance of early stimulation and education. It highlights the government’s steadfast commitment to investing in this crucial stage of a child’s life, recognizing that it lays the groundwork for their future success, our education system and that of our country.

As the Institute embarks on one of its most challenging year in its journey, as an International Centre of Excellence, and with the meaningful, impactful initiatives and plans lined-up, it remains committed to advancing the agenda for and improving the quality of ECCE in the best interest of young children. With the support of the Government and its parent’s ministry, the backing of the international and local board, its leadership and staff, the IECD is poised to bring about more significant progress in ECCE both nationally and on the global stage.