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Ministry of Education (MoE) Stimulates Early Learning with Smart Start Programme

Education 09 Feb, 2023 Follow News

Ms. Sandra Ebanks (seated centre), Manager, East End Public Library, reads to Zavaree Chambers-Lightbody, his mother Latoya (l) and Joseph Quinland and his mother Zula (r) during a Book Buzz Session.

Zula Quinland (l) and her son Joseph engage in a Family Circle session led by Ms. Erica Dell’ Oglio (r) from LIFE Cayman.

Ms. Andrea Taffe, Manager at the Northside Library, presents three Smart Start participants with library cards during a recent Book Buzz Session.

Mrs. Shari Welcome (standing) watches over her son as he and other young Northside Family Circle participants show off the books they received from LIFE Cayman representatives Ms. Erica Dell’Oglio (se

Northside parent, Ms. Glassean Bowlyn (seated left), receives assistance from members of the Ministry of Education’s ECCE Unit to register for the Smart Start Programme. She is assisted by Ms. Vanessa

The Ministry of Education (MoE), through its Early Childhood Care & Education (ECCE) Unit, launched a ‘Smart Start’ Early Stimulation Programme at the Craddock Ebanks (North Side) and East End Civic Centers on Tuesday (24 January).

“In the absence of early learning facilities in the districts of Northside and East End, this programme aims to enhance toddlers’ readiness for school and assist their families in creating a suitable home learning environment,” remarked Acting Chief Officer Ms. Lyneth Monteith.

The 30-week programme features biweekly Smart Start sessions across both districts facilitated by a team of local early childhood professionals. The programme includes a weekly Book Buzz at the Northside and East End Public Libraries and a Stay and Play Reception session at the Edna Moyle and East End Primary Schools.

The MoE has partnered with the non-profit literacy organisation LIFE Cayman to deliver the Smart Start programme, with team members issuing books to families as part of the sessions.

Executive Director Ms. Erica Dell’Oglio remarked, “LIFE knows the importance of supporting the development of young children and those who care for them. Our current strategy primarily focuses on nurturing foundational literacy and the joy of books in the Early Years. Recognising that society is responsible for building a more compassionate world in which all our children have equal opportunities, we are proud to partner with parents, ECCE Unit and other entities in the SMART START programme.

Register for Smart Start at the North Side or East End Public Library any time during the programme or download the registration form from https://www.gov.ky/education/departments-units/early-childhood-care-and-education-unit, and email the completed form to ecce@gov.ky.

Mrs. Shari Welcome was one of several parents whose children participated in the early sessions. She commented, “The North Side programme is off to a great start with a small group of children. The level of engagement and interaction reinforces the importance of nurturing children and empowering families to ensure children’s success. I am positive this programme will continue to flourish and produce amazing results.”   

East End parent Zula Quinland added, “My son Joseph and I really enjoy the programme. More specifically, he loves meeting new children his age, reading books and participating in the singalongs. I hope it continues in the community for a long time and all parents and caregivers will take the time and effort to attend.”

To learn more about the Smart Start Early Childhood Stimulation Programme, please get in touch with ECCE Officer Vanessa Cameron by telephone at 244-6625 or email at ecce@gov.ky .

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