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Early Childhood Devít In Ghana: Day Care Centreís Now A Business Venture?
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There are several factors that prevent education from achieving its goal. Schools serving low-income students receive fewer resources, face greater difficulties attracting qualified teachers, face many more challenges in addressing student's needs, and receive less support from parents (Lee and Burkam, 2002).

Early childhood is the period of a child's growth from conception to the first eight years.

Early childhood care and education (ECCE) is more than a preparatory stage assisting the child’s transition to formal schooling. It places emphasis on developing the whole child - attending to his or her social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs - to establish a solid and broad foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing.

In line with the Education 2030 agenda, UNESCO supports national, regional and international efforts to expand and improve ECCE provision equitably so as to provide every child a best start in life.

 It is in this vein that Ghana government reviewed its educational polices to permit private institutions.  

Besides that, the increased demand by the people and the limited resources available to the government has made it difficult for the government alone to finance education provision in the country. It has therefore become increasingly necessary for the private sector to get involved in the provision of educational facilities in the country.

Ghana's education system is a mix of public and private schools. Even though private schools were known to perform better academically than the public ones, there are some lapses in the private schools which need to be addressed immediately.

The sole official language of instruction throughout the Ghanaian educational system is English. Basic Education lasts 11 years. Kindergarten lasts 2 years (Age 4-6).

Making sure that every child has a chance to do well in school, both in cognitive and non-cognitive skills is a crucial goal of education.  One can safely argue that, children's success in school to a large extent determines their success as adults - determining whether and where they go to college, what professions they enter, and how much they are paid.

Teaching can prove to be an exciting and demanding job, and requires a variety of personal and professional qualities and characteristics. Teachers need to be able to relate well to understand possess the skills of empathy and understanding in their interactions with learners.

The purpose of this article is to establish the effectiveness of the institution tasked to monitor and evaluate the administration of Day Care Centres in the country especially those operating within the rural and peril-urban communities.

Many have developed the interest to establish Day Care Centre not to improve the wellbeing of the children; rather their hopes are high in the profit to gain.

A visit to some communities in Ghana reveals how some Day Care Centres  are been run, one will not be surprised to spot poor surrounding,  poor infrastructure, lack of learning materials, teachers with no or low qualification teaching the children.

In Ghana, It is required under the Children’s Act 560, that all Day Care Centres be registered with Social Welfare and Metro, Municipal and District Assemblies before operation. Day Care Centres that are not registered or that are employing Day Care Attendants that are not trained, are subject to termination until they follow proper procedures.

Currently the Department of Social Welfare is responsible for registration and maintenance of standards in all crèches and day care centres for children aged 0-2 while the Ghana Education Service (which has the responsibility of implementing pre -tertiary education policies formulated by the Ministry of Education) is responsible for curriculum development for children aged 3-5 years.

The lack of collaboration and coordination between these two principal agencies is giving an impression that our future leader’s educational foundation is not solid. 

In 2007, the First Lady, Mrs Theresa Kufuor announced a document which made kindergarten education progressively part of the Universal Free and Compulsory Basic Education. The policy forms part of the recommendations of Government's white paper on Educational Reforms.

Under the policy, all Ghanaian children at the age of four are to receive two years compulsory Early Childhood Development (ECD) education before entering primary one.

Meanwhile, in order to ensure that nursery schools are properly run, Government has set up a National Nursery Teachers’ Training Centre where certificated teachers who want to specialize in nursery education, and nursery attendants are trained. The pre-school or nursery teacher training course lasts three months, after which a certificate is awarded.

The basic-level teacher training course lasts three years, after which a teacher certificate “A” is awarded to successful students.  In addition to the National Nursery Teachers’ Training Centre, the University of Education Winneba has started a 4-year Degree programme in ECCE

The purpose and mandate of these training centres must not be glorified when children in day care centres are been handled poorly without proper supervision.

I suggest that Government institutions up their game to clamp down on all non-accredited Day Care Centres in the system, and also tighten their monitoring exercise to put those accredited one on track either by drawing a workshop  plan that can enhance the knowledge, skills, leadership for administrators, teachers, and caregivers to improve the development of the children.


Source: Deborah Agyei Amponsah

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