National assessment of children prior to pre-school and crèche |10 September 2022
• IECD urges parents on unregistered childcare services to participate
Children from registered day care centres and home-based child care services are presently being assessed before starting pre-school or crèche in January 2023.
The assessment termed Early Learning Readiness of Children, is done by the Institute of Early Childhood Development (IECD) and targets children between 3 and 4 years old.
The assessment kicked off in mid-August for registered day care centres and will end next week whereas children from home-based child care services are being assessed since September 5 and this will go on until October 8.
According to IECD, the aim of the assessment is to establish the level of readiness of children prior to entering crèche as well as provide information which will potentially help develop strategies to enhance practices in childminding services.
The project is being overseen by the director Programme Coordination and Research, Marie-France Barra, who is urging parents to come forward and allow their child to take part in this very important exercise.
“It is not a formal test but rather in the form of a short interview and game to measure their level of learning, to see what they know and understand. We also measure and observe the social and emotional sides as well,” explained Ms Barra.
Parents are also required to fill in a questionnaire where they can outline the challenges they face as well as the socio-educational factors impacting learning readiness.
The assessment has been taking place for the past four years and according to Ms Barra, it was done in home-based child care services in 2019 and at the time 278 children were assessed. In 2020 the number rose to 702 after day care centres were also added to the mix and last year 1195 were assessed prior to starting pre-school and crèche.
She said the results were positive as it showed that 83 percent of children were ready for crèche, and the results for those from home-based child care services were similar to those from day care centres, registered with IECD.
Ms Barra said the assessments have been useful as it has also helped identify other issues such as speech problem in children.
“These information are compiled in our result slips and presented to the parents, who can later on compare their child’s learning ability prior to crèche and once they are in crèche. The results are also shared with childminders and schools,” said Ms Barra.
They also allow IECD to set up various new projects, such as the development of Early Learning Programme and Resources for children in Home-Based Childminding Establishments, and Referral programme in order for the children to get more support.
The children are being assessed by experienced former early childhood educators in three regional centres set up at the Seychelles Institute of Distance and Open Learning (Sidol) for the central region, one in Perseverance and a third at the Anse Aux Pins crèche.
IECD plans to set up extra bases in other regions if there is a demand.
The institute is urging parents, especially those whose children are being taken care of by stay-at-home parents, grandparents, or any family members, to take part in the national exercise.
Parents of these unregistered child care services can contact IECD on 4286565 for an appointment or email Ms Barra on email@example.com