The Department of Education is expanding the preschool Bright Start Programme for 3 year old children during the 2021/2022 school year.
This programme was introduced in alignment with Plan 2022 strategy 2.4, which calls for the expansion of preschool spaces to include children who are 3 years of age. The programme has been run as a pilot programme at the Warwick Preschool for the last 3 years.
The Bright Start Programme will be offered at four preschools in the upcoming school year: St. David’s Preschool, Victor Scott Preschool, Southampton Preschool and Lagoon Park Preschool.
In June of this year, the Department of Education invited applications for the programme from the public; however, the application process was put on hold to review the online registration process requirements. During the review, a decision was made to explore a partnership with the Department of Financial Assistance to have the 3-year-old children of child care allowance clients placed in the Bright Start Programme.
After ongoing discussions, the Department of Education has formalised a partnership with the Department of Financial Assistance. It has been determined that the 3-year-old children of child care allowance clients will be placed in the Bright Start Programmes at the four designated preschools. The children selected for the Bright Start Programme are presently enrolled in private nurseries and preschools across the island. As the enrolment for the Bright Start Programme is limited, the impact on enrolment at these nurseries and preschools are minimal.
With limited spaces in each programme, the successful implementation of this partnership has resulted in all four programmes being full. Parents who applied online for the programme are advised of the need to explore alternative options. Official notification will also be sent to all unsuccessful parents.
The Minister of Education, the Hon. Diallo Rabain, JP, MP, expressed, “Ensuring students have strong foundational skills is imperative to set them up for future success. The Bright Start Programme will enable children to develop the requisite skills that are needed for a successful start to primary level education.”
“Additionally, the Ministry of Education is pleased to partner with the Ministry of Labour for this inter-department initiative as this government remains committed to seeking ways to reduce public expenditure.”
The Minister of Labour, the Hon. Jason P. Hayward, JP, MP commented, “I am grateful for the partnership and the close collaboration between the Department of Financial Assistance and the Department of Education on this very important initiative. This is another example of how this government is providing further assistance for persons in need and in particular are targeting our young people who are our future.”
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