The Portmore-based Genesis Daycare and Learning Centre is the first early-childhood institution in St. Catherine to be certified by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC).

Senior ECC Inspector for the parish, Yvette Edwards-Wilson, said she is pleased with the collaborative efforts of the Commission’s field officers and the Genesis team in ensuring that the facility attained the Standards for the Operation, Management and Administration of Early Childhood Institutions.

The 12 operational standards relate to staffing; developmental and educational programmes; interactions and relationships with children; physical environment; indoor and outdoor equipment, furnishing and supplies; health; nutrition; safety; children’s rights, protection and equality; interactions with parents and community members; administration; and finance.

“It is a great feeling of accomplishment, because I saw the hard work of the team and the Principal/Operator of Genesis Daycare and Learning Centre, Doreen Hayden-Brown,” she said.

She noted that there was need for intervention from a sponsor, and VIP Attractions was approached to assist. The entity provided $34,913.92, which was used to improve lighting in the classrooms.

Business Development Manager at VIP Attractions, Ka-el Clarke, said the company was happy to help.

She applauded the operator and staff of Genesis Daycare and Learning Centre for playing a pivotal role in shaping lives from an early age.

Mrs. Hayden-Brown expressed appreciation for all the support in ensuring that the school attained the standards for certification.

“I am very grateful for all the efforts. Initially, I was aware of the Early Childhood Commission standards but was not keeping up with them with any degree of urgency. But with each inspection, I tried to improve on the required standards,” she said.

“I did not realise, until recently, that I had to attain 100 per cent of the standards; it was an eye-opener,” she noted.

Genesis Daycare and Learning Centre has been in operation since September 1999 and has 15 children on roll ranging from four months to three years old.

The ECC has been promoting the certification of all early-childhood institutions as part of its mission-critical legislated requirements.

A series of regional certification fairs is among the strategies being utilised to increase awareness among operators of facilities.

The next fair is scheduled for Friday, April 28 in St. Catherine, which falls in Region Six.

Approximately 300 basic schools are being targeted for certification by 2019.

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