New childcare standards published online
New child care standards have been published in a move to support parents and care providers.
The standards, announced last week in the House of Assembly, are designed to provide support for parents, daycare providers — those who care for up to three children in their homes — and daycare centres.
They were developed by a Committee of experts in child care from the Child Development Programme, Child and Family Services, SCARS and the Bermuda Private Nursery Association.
Kim Wilson, the Minister of Health, said last Friday that Bermuda had lacked formal standards for daycare providers and daycare centres, although regulations governing daycare have been in place since 1999.
David Kendell, Director of Health, said the new standards were “crucial” for the island.
“Raising children is such an important responsibility, yet often we have diverse opinions and approaches,” he said.
“The choir now have the same hymn sheets — these standards codify what are considered ‘best child care practices’.
“The next step is for providers, parents and other child care professionals to put the standards into action.”
Meanwhile the Bermuda Private Nursery Association said: “It is our intention to negotiate on behalf of its members with authorities and other parties in an effort to improve and establish acceptable and workable standards.”
Llewellyn Simmons, CDP director, said it is important for the island to invest in childcare and early childhood education for the future of the island and its citizens.
Dr Simmons said: “These standards support providers in delivering high quality child care to Bermuda’s children.
“This is a significant milestone in the Government’s goal to ensuring a strong foundation for all children and their future development.”
Debi Ray-Rivers, founder and executive director of SCARS, added: “It is the hope of SCARS that every individual and organisation that is entrusted with the care of children will become certified in sexual abuse protection, will conduct a background check on their employees/volunteers, will do a reference check on each individual and implement a code of conduct that can be shared with their parents.”
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