In November 2005, the White Paper outlining Standards for Regulating Early Childhood Services was developed. The document outlines the minimum standards to be adhered to in eight critical areas:
Registration and Licensing of ECCE centres
Quality Early Childhood Practice
Quality Standards for Children from Birth to Three Years Old
Quality Standards for Early Childhood Environments for Children Between Three and Five Years Old
Health and Safety
The Physical Environment
REGISTRATION AND LICENSING OF ECCE CENTRES
All ECCE centres must be registered with the Ministry of Education ECCE Division. The licensing process has not yet been implemented.
Well-organized staffing patterns facilitate individualized, responsive care and support learning. All staff members in ECCE settings must be suitably qualified to work with young children. Adequate levels of staffing are to be maintained at all times in accordance with the standard document for all children including children with special needs.
QUALITY EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES
In an effort to optimally cater to young childrenâs learning and developmental needs within the learning setting, it is of paramount importance that related practices are of the highest quality. These will necessarily highlight the provision of equal opportunities for all children and their families â as outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Quality early childhood practice also suggests that children with special needs are embraced and allowed to interact with their peers of all abilities.
QUALITY STANDARDS FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD ENVIRONMENTS FOR CHILDREN BETWEEN
THREE AND FIVE YEARS OLD
Quality standards seek to address vital issues as they ensure the holistic development of children by emphasizing all developmental domains. Additionally, they facilitate childrenâs well-being and provide an excellent foundation for lifelong learning.
Record keeping is critical to the efficient and successful management of all ECCE centres. Effective record keeping and reporting systems provide the information needed to:
Properly assess, monitor the progress and generally meet the needs of each child and their family;
Monitor and maintain consistent delivery of quality services;
Facilitate programme planning and development.
HEALTH AND SAFETY
The health and safety of children within the ECCE setting is of extreme importance as childrenâs sense of safety and well-being can influence their interactions, learning and development. Health and safety policies are essential as they ensure that children are protected and nurtured in an environment that is safe, clean and organized to promote good health and general well-being.
THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT
The physical environment should be organized to support the goals of the ECCE programme. In order to ensure the environment is one which provides children with quality experiences, it is necessary to consider issues of hygiene and safety, to ensure optimal learning and development.