BRADES – Representatives of several Early Childhood Centres gathered with colleagues from statistics and health to discuss the importance of data collection to their work on Wednesday, May 20, 2015.
The workshop is being coordinated through the Ministry of Education and facilitated by a team from UNICEF.
Shelly-Ann Harper, Education Specialist with UNICEF said the workshop is part of the larger Safeguarding for Children in the Overseas Territories (OTs) project funded by the UK Department for International Development (DfID).
“We have always been challenged in this sector with up to date data,” Harper explained during the opening. “The focus is to move to more evidenced informed decision-making. We must ask “what does the data say within any context? How do we use the information to support the programmes and interventions on a national level and with international partners?”
The specialist noted that early childhood sector for the most part is run by private sector in other Caribbean islands which has made it more difficult to mainstream data. The workshop is being carried out in all of the other OTs as well.
Representatives from the Ministry of Health and Education and statistics are attending the two-day workshop.
“The issue of Early Childhood cuts across sectors,” Harper noted. The objectives of the workshop are in the short term to “identify action points and key indicators to support the introduction of an Early childhood development snap shot and formulate a template to capture information of girls and boys 0-5 years across education and other sectors.”
Special focus is being given to children 0-5 years old who usually fall outside of mainstream, although the early childhood age range is up to eight.
A long term objective of the workshop is to establish systems of how data can be collected in a sustained way and with minimum errors.
Other members of the training team are Keith Thomas from the Ministry of Education in St Vincent & the Grenadines and Kendall Khodra from the St. Lucia Government Ministry of Education.