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Check with board first, operators told

luigimarshall, [email protected]

Check with board first, operators told

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OPERATORS of private day care facilities have been urged to ensure that their businesses are legally set up.
The caution has come from director of the Child Care Board, Joan Crawford, who advised: “You want to engage the Child Care Board very early. Do not open a centre unless you get the permission of the Child Care Board.”
In an interview with the DAILY NATION, Crawford pointed out that with the growing demand for children’s day care services private day care facilities had an important role to play, but she stressed such operators should ensure their centres were registered and licensed with the Child Care Board, the only entity authorized to do so.
Crawford said: “For a number of years what we have found is that persons are opening centres without the permission of the Child Care Board. While we understand that the Child Care Board cannot provide all the spaces that are necessary, we want the private enterprise, the emerging business leaders to come and speak with us first.”
Such dialogue, she said, would enable the operators to avoid the kinds of problems often encountered in securing Town and Country Planning permission.
She also called on parents to ensure that any centre they placed their child in offered programmes that would address the child’s developmental needs.
“I know that sometimes [parents] just want to look at somewhere to keep the children as a stop gap measure, but they too must get involved. They must find out what is being taught, what activity is being demonstrated and what social skills the children are learning. The parents are the ones who will ensure that the standard of care being delivered is acceptable.”
There is a long waiting list for the 15 government day care centres, which accept children from three months to five years old and, according to reports parents from across the broad social spectrum, are making use of these facilities, for which they pay a weekly fee of $20. 
Open Day is being held at Government-operated day nurseries across the island this week, as Barbados observes Child Month with the theme Empower Our Families: Save Our Children. (GC)