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
- All ECCE Centres must be registered by ECS providers at the Ministry of Education –Early Childhood Care and Education Division.Click here for Registration Form
- Initial application enquiries should be made directly to the ECCE Division, Ministry of Education, Trinidad or the Division of Education, Sport and Youth Affairs, Tobago. It shall be deemed illegal to establish an ECCE centre without applying to the Ministry of Education.
- Providers of all private ECCE Centres (referred to as infant or nursery schools in the Ed.Act, Chp.39:01; article 12 (a)) must complete and submit the prescribed registration form to have their entry on the Register (article 31(1)) and a Registration Notice.
- Once the ECS Provider has registered the Centre, the provider will be given a period offive (5) years from the date of registration to complete the licensing procedure, thereby, up-grading the Centre to a fully licensed ECCE centre endorsed by the Ministry of Education, as meeting the requirements of a quality ECCE facility.
- Continuous inspection of licensed ECS is the method of ensuring that providers continueto adhere to the standards contained in this document. All ECS providers and staff must work with ECCE officers of the Ministry of Education on a continuous basis to up-grade the services provided nation-wide.
- A license will be granted for a period of three years. It is a requirement of registrationthat the registered provider co-operates with the Ministry of Education, Early Childhood Care and Education Division in arranging a date for the formal licence inspection within two months of the proposed date agreed to upon registration.
- Applications for renewal of licence should include notice of any changes made.It is acknowledged that some provisions already exceed these minimum standards. The role of the inspectors/ECCE Officers will be to encourage initiatives and practice developments that aim to improve standards.
- Where existing provision falls short of the standards, the role of the ECCE officers will beto negotiate changes with the registered providers within realistic, jointly agreed time scales within the five-year period.
- The Ministry of Education/NCECCE requires the same standards for the government/government assisted ECCE centres (public) and all private settings. All will be inspected by these Standards and expected to comply.
- It is the responsibility of the registered provider to ensure compliance with the statutory requirements of the legislation.
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.