Montserrat is getting closer to having a snapshot of its Early Childhood Development programme following the completion of a one-day workshop with UNICEF representatives here.
The workshop called Administrative Data Systems for Early Childhood Development was facilitated by UNICEF consultant and early childhood specialist Shelly-Ann Harper and Education Planner Keith Thomas.
Attending the activity were early childhood practitioners, representatives from the statistics and ministry of health.
The goal, Acting Education Officer Inez Thompson explained, was to compile the key indicators which needed to be included in the report to provide a picture of where the island was in terms of early childhood development.
The snapshot includes information such as rates of obesity, and other health concerns, school facilities, number of trained staff, and gender make up of each school.
The group reviewed the work developed last May to lay the groundwork and they identified a list of data which is readily available and can be included. Using examples from the Turks & Caicos report, they identified additional areas which could be added to the local version of the snapshot.
Harper and Thomas were impressed that much of the data required could be easily compiled from several local sources and encouraged the group to do so in order for the report to be completed. Montserrat could be the second territory to have this portion of the project completed.
The consultant said there was one more year left in this early childhood project and she requested that the group identify ways in which UNICEF could support the local ministry of education in disseminating information about early childhood development, and manage the collection of data. It was also emphasised that systems were necessary to provide public access to the data and DFID, which is funding the project, could assist with training for capacity building.