HOW TO ESTABLISH AN ECI
What is an ECI?
An early childhood institution (ECI) is any place that cares for four or more children under the age of six years, for up to six hours per day. This includes: nurseries, centres or homes which offer day care, basic schools, kindergartens, preschools, and infant schools and infant departments.
The majority of Jamaican children spend many hours of their early years with caregivers and teachers in one of the above mentioned ECIs, and one way in which our children can be provided with a good start in life is to ensure that all ECIs are efficiently run and provide services that promote children’s development.
Your ECI will therefore ensure that children have access to quality early childhood development programmes so that they can become healthy, well-balanced adults and self-sufficient citizens.
1. Where do I begin?
The first and most important thing is making sure that this is really the line of work you want. Working with children is very rewarding, but it can also be very challenging and demanding at times.
2. Next, you need to be sure you have a location that will be appropriate for use as an ECI. You need to:
- Seek Parish Council’s approval for the location you have selected. Contact your local parish council board for further details on building and zoning requirements as stated in The Parish Councils Building Act.
Inspections from the above agencies will highlight areas that need improvement so that changes can be made to create a safe and healthy environment for children, staff and visitors.
- Have the premises inspected by the following agencies:
- Jamaica Fire Brigade
- Public Health Department
Finally, register your ECI with the Early Childhood Commission
Under the law, all ECIs must register with the ECC to operate legally in Jamaica. The Early Childhood Act and Regulations (2005) describe the requirements that an ECI must meet in order to provide the services that children need to grow and develop well.
Anyone wishing to operate an ECI must now find out what is required under the law.
HOW DO I REGISTER?
AN ECI’S GUIDE TO REGISTRATION WITH THE ECC
1. Why do I need to register my institution?
According to the Early Childhood Act (2005), all persons operating an ECI must register with the Early Childhood Commission (ECC).
2. What is the cost of registration?
The cost of registration is $1, 500.00 and can be paid at any National Commercial Bank (NCB). Vouchers for payment are available at the following locations:
- Early Childhood Commission
- ECC’s Resource Centres
3. What other documents do I need to register?
The following documents should accompany your completed application form:
- Proof of payment of registration fee
- Two passport-sized photographs of the applicant
- A reference from any two of the following.
- A Justice of the Peace
- A Minister of Religion
- An Attorney-at-law
- The Principal or the Chairman of the Board of Management of an educational institution
- A former employer of the applicant
- A Resident Magistrate or a Judge of the Supreme Court
- A police officer above the rank of Inspector
- A report from the Jamaica Fire Brigade stating that your institution has been inspected and meets the requisite fire standards.
- A report from the Public Health Department stating that your institution has been inspected and is in compliance with the provisions of the Public Health Act.
- A copy of the following must be supplied for the applicant and employees:
- Certification of good health from a registered medical practitioner
- A food handler’s permit
- A police record
- Copy of qualification certificate(s)/proof of training
- Verification of training in the following areas: (Paediatric First Aid, the use of Universal Precautions against Blood Borne Illnesses,Recognizing Signs of Child Abuse, Referral Mechanism and Reporting Requirements under the Public Health Act and Child Care and Protection Act)
- The name and job description of each employee and a copy of every terms of employment
- Details of the premises or proposed premises:
- A floor plan of each building
- A description of the structure
- A list of furniture and equipment
- Any other details as may be prescribed
- Fees to be charged and proposed sources of funding.
4. What is the process for registration?
- After submitting the necessary documentation and relevant fee voucher, the ECC has seven (7) working days to process your application.
- The ECC has fifteen (15) working days to appoint an Inspector who will arrange to visit, conduct an inspection of your premises, as well as interview the relevant personnel at the institution.
- After the inspection of your premises, an inspection report is generated.
- A copy of the inspection report is given to the ECI’s management when all registration application documents are submitted.
5. How often do I apply for Registration?
You apply for registration every five (5) years.
6. Ensure that the ECC is notified of all changes made to your institution.
There are certain changes that by law the Commission should be notified of immediately. These include:
- Changes to enrollment
- Change in the type of institution
- Significant changes to the physical environment
- Changes to the number of employees (requires submission of documents F and G)
- Relocation of an ECI (requires submission of documents A, D, E and H)
- Change in principal/operator (requires submission of documents B, C, F and G) along with a completed application form.
Visit, call or email the ECC Regulation and Monitoring Department for further information on the registration process. Our office is open Monday to Thursday 8:30a.m. – 5:00p.m.; and Fridays 8:30a.m. – 4:00p.m.
Early Childhood Commission
45-49 Kingston Mall,
8 - 10 Ocean Boulevard,
Kingston, Jamaica W.I.
Tel: (876) 922-9296-7
Fax: (876) 922-9295