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History

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The CCDC (formerly the Regional Pre-School Child Development Centre) officially opened its doors in 1975, under the auspices of UNICEF and the Government of Jamaica (GoJ), with the undertaking that the UWI would eventually assume financial responsibilities for the Centre’s operations.  

Throughout its history, CCDC has been consistent in pursuing a four-pronged mandate related to the conditions and needs of primarily young children and their families in the Caribbean: research, training, curriculum development and dissemination of information.  CCDC maintains both its local and regional profile with programmes in areas such as fathering and gender socialization research, parenting education, day care evaluation, sexual exploitation, HIV/AIDS, Children and Violence, curricula development, materials development, on- and off-site training, policy development and technical assistance to regional governments on early childhood and child development.

The Centre has been involved in projects covering the areas of Research, Policy Development, Curriculum Development, and Networking. 

Research

Children and Violence – 2004 to 2009

  • Inventory of Violence Prevention Programmes (UNICEF);

  • Desk review of violence against children in the Caribbean region for the UN Secretary General’s Report (UNICEF);

  • Completion of 6-year follow-up of aggressive Jamaican youth;

  • Piloted a nutrition intervention study to reduce aggressive behaviour;

  • Survey of gangs in Antigua (OAS);

  • Survey of youth gangs in Jamaica (Ministry of National Security, World Bank);

  • Analysis of individual-level interventions to reduce crime and violence among Jamaican Youth –(World Bank).

Children and HIV – November 2006 to July 2008

  • The documentation of HIV Intervention Programmes for Children in Jamaica, and the development of a searchable database with GIS mapping. (IADB)

  • Assessment of psychosocial services for HIV infected and affected children.

Policy and Curriculum Development

Child Focus II Project – Executed from October  2001 to January 2005

  • Funded by Inter-American Development Bank
  • The project aimed to -
  • Mobilize national commitment and increase public awareness for early childhood development (ECD) services
  • Advance the goals of the Caribbean Early Childhood Plan of Action

Outcomes

  • Development of the Masters in ECD Leadership by the Institute of Education at UWI;   
  • Regional Framework for Learning Goals and Outcomes developed with input from 7 IADB member countries and a regional workshop with 18 countries; resulted in the production of a guide to curriculum development.
  • The re-launching of the Caribbean ECD website as a substantial resource for information on research and resources to strengthen efforts in ECD, parenting and networking in the region 

Child Focus III Project: Strengthening ECD  – August 2005 to March 2008

  • Funded by the Caribbean Development Bank
  • The project was designed to build on the outcomes from Child Focus II and was aimed at increasing public awareness and mobilizing national commitment for ECD throughout the Caribbean. 

Outcome

  • Pilot implementation of a model Caribbean ECD curriculum in Montserrat and Grenada.
  • Phased implementation of a regulatory framework for ECD services (preschools and day care centres) including policy, licensing procedures, standards and enforcement procedures in Cayman Islands and St. Lucia.
  • Report on the viability of setting up and sustaining investments in national programmes for young children, and the fiscal tools necessary to recognize ECD as a separate sub-sector in Anguilla and Belize.  Workshop to share report findings held in both countries.
  • Final project report disseminated to six countries involved in the project.

Networking

  • Production of three issues of the peer reviewed journal “Caribbean Childhoods”,  in collaboration with UWI colleagues of the Children’s Issues Coalition and the Early Childhood Commission – Environmental Foundation of Jamaica and UNICEF

  • Website development - UNESCO

  • Coordination and development of the website for Caribbean Early Childhood. http://www.open.uwi.edu/caribecd/welcome

  • Publication of  “The Link” newsletter; circulated throughout the Caribbean – UNESCO

  • Hosting of the IIN database comprising children and family literature, centres and programmes across the northern hemisphere.

  • Continued participation in local, regional and international groups for child rights and child development, e.g. Enhancement of Basic Schools, CARICOM  ECD Working Group, Child Rights University Network, Consultative Group on ECE, Childwatch International.

  • Fully equipped library and resource centre.