In Barbados and in the Eastern Caribbean, UNICEF has primarily supported activities that would lead to the better care and development of children in the birth through 8 age group. Some of the type of activities it has supported in this sub-region include:
The development of national policies and standards on Early Childhood Development:
UNICEF provides technical assistance to governments in Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean for the development of national policies and standards on early childhood development. The organization was the driving force behind the revision and /or development of such policies in Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda.
Training for parents, caregivers, especially of vulnerable children:
Support has been provided for training of parents and caregivers on early stimulation. This included study tours to other countries to observe best practices. Vulnerable children have been reached through the piloting of the Roving Caregivers Programme in Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines in collaboration with the Caribbean Child Support Initiative and the national implementing agencies
Harmonization of ECE curricula:
UNICEF also provides assistance for improving ECE curricula with a view of harmonizing such curricula throughout the sub-region. In the previous programme cycle, this commenced through the beginning of a two-year project based on the High/Scope Preschool Curriculum, which is a child-centred and activity based approach.
Public education campaigns:
UNICEF has also supported public awareness campaigns. Some of these focussed on helping parents to recognize the characteristics of quality early childhood centres, as well as the developmental milestones of their children.
In the new Multi-Country Programme 2008-2011, UNICEF will continue to support ECD policy development. There will also be focus on extending HFLE principles into pre-school programmes; establishing protocols for school-readiness and focusing on issues of access, especially of the most vulnerable children