(EMU) – St. Kitts, November 30, 2018 -- The remodeled and refurbished Industrial Site Day Care Centre was officially reopened on Thursday November 29.
Engineer at the Public Works Department Mr. Livingston Pemberton told the audience of well wishers and ministry officials that the redesigned Day Care Centre boasts a number of significant upgrades including a new roof with raised ceilings; strengthened beams and additional columns; modern kitchen and bathing facilities; air conditioned dining room; as well as a state of the art kitchen.
“In executing the project we recognized that we wanted a building that was functional so every step of the way we consulted with the end users. This is an approach that we think is very important because we do not want to build buildings that do not serve the purpose they were created for,” stated Mr. Pemberton.
He added that they were in constant communication with centre supervisor Diana John and then Director of the Early Childhood Development unit June Wallace during the renovation period.
Also of special note, according to Mr. Pemberton, the comfort of day care workers was a project priority. “The bathing stations were raised so that workers do not have to bend over which often resulted in back pain. A new basin wash station was placed in each classroom; the bathroom facilities were made accessible from within the classroom; the pitch of the roof is higher, making the rooms cooler and there is an Island in the kitchen providing the necessary preparation workspace for food.”
Mr. Pemberton noted that not only was the project completed on time but within budget at a cost of approximately 1.4 million Eastern Caribbean dollars. He highlighted upfront investments that would significantly reduce maintenance costs.
Current Ag. Director of Early Childhood Development Rosalind Warner highlighted the significance of the building in keeping with the mission and vision of the Early Childhood Development Unit to holistically develop youth for life-long-learning.
“Acknowledging the needs of the families of the area, the day care centre is the largest in the Federation and can house 140 children between the ages of 3 months to 5 years old,” Ms. Warner stated.
“Over the years this centre has emerged as a top class home away from home; laying the foundation for scores of citizens,” she boasted.
Minister of Education et al, Hon Shawn K Richards who has affectionately been dubbed the ‘Champion of Early Childhood Development’ by day care officials and staff, in addressing the re-opening ceremony, said much strategic thought had been put into the project. He stated therefore that enhancements were not only structural but also educational in nature.
The Minister stated, “The centre has been stocked with an array of child friendly materials fit to carry out the High Scope Curriculum which promotes independence, curiosity, decision making, cooperation, persistence, creativity and problem solving.”
He added that his government and ministry are aware of the needs of the working population who parent these children at the Industrial Site Day Care Centre and their significant contribution to the Federation’s economy.
Mr. Arnold Paul, contractor of the Industrial Site Day Care Centre Renovation Project was commended for outstanding work.
Andrea Liddie past Supervisor at the Centre and present Early Childhood Resource Teacher was also mentioned as an advocate for the project from its inception to fruition.
The Federation’s Early Childhood pioneers Mrs. Leonie James and Mrs. Vanta Walters as well as recently retired Director June Wallace were on hand to witness the event.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Mr. William Hodge chaired the re-opening ceremony.
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