An Early Childhood Care and Education Centre refers to all facilities providing learning support,
care and development services to children from three (3) to five (5) years of age. Early
Childhood Services (ECS) are here defined as all settings offering informal programmes to
children under five, and include: Day Care Centres, Preschools, Kindergartens, Early Childhood
Care and Education Centres and Nurseries. The registered provider may therefore be a person,
a partnership, group, church, committee, board, government ministry, non-governmental
organisation or a company. The principle underlying Early Childhood Care and Education in
Trinidad and Tobago is that all children can learn and each child, regardless of economic status,
physical; or emotional challenges, ethnic background or gender, has a right to high quality
education. ECCE in Trinidad and Tobago is a national development priority towards fulfilling the
goal of developing a quality education system.
OPERATION AND STRUCTURE OF GOV’T/GOV’T ASSISTED ECCE CENTRES
The Ministry of Education began operations of its first centre in 1970. Today there are 109
Government/Government Assisted ECCE Centres throughout Trinidad and Tobago which offer free
education to children between the ages of 3 to 5. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has adopted
a three prong approach to the provision of universal ECCE through:
1. Construction of new ECCE Centres
2. Spaces in under populated primary schools
3. Public/Private partnership.
The ECCE Division resources are directed at managing the National ECCE Agenda and ensuring the
provision of quality ECCE services in Trinidad and Tobago.
1. Providing advice on policy as it relates to the ECCE subsector
2. Coordinating ECCE Programmes
3. Continuously revising standards and goals set for ECCE
5. Monitoring and Evaluation.
Aranguez Main Road
THE NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION
This is a Cabinet appointed body for early childhood care and education. One of its
responsibilities is the introduction of appropriate legislation and administrative guidelines for
the effective operation of all public and private ECCE centres in Trinidad and Tobago. The
Council, re-established in May 2002, is comprised of representatives from: the Ministries of
Education, Health, Social Services, Community Development and Gender Affairs, the Office of
the Prime Minister - Social Service Delivery, SERVOL, the Child Welfare League, the Tobago
House of Assembly, the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers’ Association (TTUTA), the
University of the West Indies, the Inter-Religious Organisation and the National Parent
THE WAY FORWARD FOR REGISTRATION AND LICENSING OF ECCE CENTRES
The Education Act 1966, chapter 39:1, Article 12, No. 1.
The Public Health Order 1995.
The Public Health Ordinance Chapter 12,
The Environment Management authority (EMA) Building Regulations.