Minister turns attention to youngest in system

| 19/05/2011

(CNS): After two years of turmoil when it comes to issues relating to secondary education, the education minster is focusing his attention on the kids at the other end of the education system. Following the recent groundbreaking at the West Bay primary school, heralding the redevelopment of John A Cumber, and promises of refurbishment projects at George Town and Savannah primary, now comes the launch of the Early Childhood Care and Education Unit. Rolston Anglin says he has identified improvements in early childhood care and education as a critical priority for his ministry and was one of the four key drivers identified in his Education Stabilisation Plan, launched in January 2011.

The (ECCE) was launched, according to an official release, on 9 May, with the goal of ensuring that Cayman’s children receive quality early childhood care and education.

“I am delighted that we now have a unit that is staffed with highly skilled, experienced and passionate staff, most of whom are talented Caymanians,” Anglin said. “Their work will enable us to tackle long-standing needs such as appropriate legislation, curriculum, quality standards, teaching quality, training and monitoring.”

Chief Officer Mary Rodrigues said it would not be possible to achieve long-term goals of ensuring success for all children without understanding just how important their earliest learning experiences are to their chances of later educational success. “And once we understand that, we have to back this up with investments that will ensure they have access to world-class learning opportunities. As such, we’ve strategised and reallocated resources to make this unit possible,” she explained.

The five-person unit is led by Julie Madgwick, who has a Master’s in Education and a Bachelor of Teaching and Learning. She has had 25 years experience in education, including providing leadership and implementing best practice in the early years, an official release from the ministry said. Her work in early-years teacher education has given her an understanding of the importance of high quality teachers during the pre-school and kindergarten years. As the senior policy advisor for early childhood care and education, Madgwick will provide research and policy advice to set the strategic direction of the unit.

The team includes Early Childhood Care and Education Officer Reneé Barnes; Early Childhood Instructional Specialist Carol Bennett; Early Childhood Care and Education Officer for Cayman Brac April Tibbetts; and Executive Support Assistant Yvette Rattigan-Jones.

The ECCE Unit began their introductory visits to pre-schools, day cares and reception classes the week of 17 May.  Unit staff will all participate in the Ministry’s Parents Education and Information Fair scheduled for 21 May, at the Camana Bay Arts and Recreation Centre.

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Comments (8)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Looks like Rolston found a way to add 5 more to the Civil Service count without anybody noticing.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Ummm – all well and good. But let's not forget about those secondary students currently in turmoil who will become the unemployed burglars, muggers, and armed robbers in our not too distant future.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Funny how the UDP government has money to break ground on the primary school site in West Bay. Remember they also broke ground on the high schools right before the election and then blamed the PPM for trying to build them. I am not saying for a minute that we don't need a bigger primary school in West Bay but it is blatantly obvious that this is West Bay vote buying at it's best. We need to finish the other schools first. Go into JGHS and take a look around. I swear it hasn't changed since I was there over 30 years ago. Don't tell me we didn't need to finish rebuilding it.

  4. Just Sayin' says:

    Excellent news, free babysitting for all!

  5. Cayman Concern says:

    Children can learn under a tree or in a church hall, our first Rhode Scholars did not hnave air conditoning and million dollar contracted buildings.  There is NO need to more bricks, refurbishments, and building contracts for cronies!

    60% of the Caymanians in Northward Prison went through this Chief Officer's system.  I think the fat cats at the top who have propelled this problem, ignored the test scores, and let this continue should be serving time themselves instead of patting themselves on the back once again while we watch illiteracy and crime rates soar.

    Throw these bums with their empty promises and big paychecks out the door! a decade of the BS and out kids are dumber than ever!

    New teachers and a NEW administration is what we need, the old ones has proven to fail us, period.





    • Jose A. says:


      The government schools need to be chartered off to private organisations or boards. Business cannot continue like this, Mr.Minister of Education clearly is blind, doesnt he notice those two large uncompleted buildings over at John Gray ?.

      I`ve been hearing about the these new brand spanking high schools since year 8. I`ll be graduating from school next month and still nothing :/

      So thank you Education Department for turmoil and stress. 

      See you all there at Graduation with your fancy speeches and suits.  

  6. Anonymous says:

    “after two years of turmoil when it comes to issues relating to secondary education” is a loaded statement. Can we add to that four years of turmoil in the primary education as well? This is not the capital construction but the learning framework and delivery which seems to have disintegrated amidst the “reform”. Any parents really have a clear understanding of their child through the level? Or couldn’t they have left well enough alone?I prefer to know the specifics of what my child should know and at the end of the day what percentage they really attained. Floating in nebulous numbers that mean something shallow to those who created it says nothing to me and does little to measure let alone communicate my child’s growth. We parents have been silent and waiting for too long, while our kids have gotten less and less from the hours they put into “education.”