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About the Learning Event

Over 140 early childhood educators, leaders, owners and other key stakeholders joined 'Inspiring Progress, Raising Standards 2024'

Over 140 early childhood educators, leaders, owners and other key stakeholders joined 'Inspiring Progress, Raising Standards 2024'

Inaugural Early Childhood Sector Learning Event a Success

The Office of Education Standards and the Early Childhood Care and Education Unit successfully completed an inaugural learning event for practitioners in the early childhood sector last month. The Cayman Islands Early Childhood Inspection Framework, ‘First Steps to Success: Nurturing Environments and Thriving Children’, served as the springboard.

The learning event, which was held at the Compass Centre Vault and Loft, brought together over 140 early childhood educators, owners and managers of early childhood centres, principals of government and private schools as well as senior leaders across ministries and departments in the Cayman Islands Government. International early childhood educators, policymakers and researchers also participated, sharing innovative ideas, best practices, and the latest research in early childhood education.

One of the key presenters at the event was Lead Education Specialist for the Inter-American Development Bank and renowned expert in early childhood education, Cynthia Hobbs, who emphasised the importance of investing in the early years for long-term societal benefits. Professor Gail Hunter and Colette Kane of the School of Early Childhood Education, George Brown College, Canada, facilitated the session, ‘Supporting Self-Regulation in Early Childhood’ while sharing valuable research on the correlation between self-regulation in early childhood and children’s learning, along with practical strategies to support self-regulation in the early years. Both featured presentations highlighted the latest research and practices in the early childhood education sector.

Other important topics discussed included integrating creative and expressive arts in the early childhood curriculum, supporting children with special educational needs and additional learning support needs, and creating stimulating learning environments. One standout session was a presentation on ‘Integrating Caymanian Culture and Heritage in the Early Childhood Curriculum’, facilitated by Director of Just For Kids Preschool, Evelyn Rockett. The informative session provided deep insights into the importance of cultivating children’s early understanding and appreciation for Caymanian culture and heritage, along with practical ideas and tools for educators.

Throughout the day, attendees participated in engaging workshops, stimulating panel discussions, and valuable networking opportunities allowing them to connect, share insights, and build lasting partnerships.

Her Excellency, Governor Jane Owen, who was in attendance congratulated the organisers, while reaffirming her commitment to supporting the early childhood sector in the Cayman Islands. Chief Officer, Ministry of Education, Lyneth Monteith, Acting Chief Officer in the Portfolio of the Civil Service, Lauren Knight and Chairman, Cayman Islands Education Council, Shomari Scott also participated in the session.

Director, Office of Education Standards, Althea Edwards-Boothe, and Senior Policy Advisor and Manager in the Early Childhood Care and Education Unit, Dr. Pearlyn Henry-Burrell, expressed their satisfaction with the outcome of the event noting its pivotal role in fostering collaboration and sparking innovative approaches to enhance early childhood education in the Cayman Islands.

It is anticipated that the Office of Education Standards and the Early Childhood Care and Education will host similar training activities in the future.

Highlights of the Learning Event