Over many years of visits to the Solomon Islands, a need has been identified in the early childhood sector. Due to the limited availability of appropriate establishments, many families do not have the opportunity to send their children to a learning facility. Consequently, the ability for children to develop their cognitive and language skills, enjoy social interactions with other children and prepare for future education is reduced.
For the last few years, NACare representatives have spent time researching the feasibility of assisting to address this challenge, by supporting the operation of an early learning centre in Honiara. After visiting a number of similar facilities, obtaining approval from the mayor of the city, and identifying a suitable site, this project has now progressed to the next stage.
A qualified teacher, with previous experience running an early childhood centre, was employed in 2019 to commence staff training, in order to assist a number of teachers in obtaining the necessary certification to work in this field. This process took around twelve months to complete.
The New Apostolic Church building in White River was identified as a suitable location from which to operate the early childhood program. Appropriate renovations were made to the building in order to provide suitable spaces for the children, teachers, and storage requirements.
Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the launch of the program was delayed. In the meantime, work continued to ensure all training was completed, resources were procured, and educational programs were finalised.
At the beginning of 2021 two qualified female teachers – one with a diploma of teaching in early childcare education and one with primary school teaching experience – and two female teacher aides were appointed to work in the facility. Registrations were opened and filled quickly; by mid February 40 children from within the community, and belonging to various denominations, were registered in the program.
Funding of this program will ensure that successful outcomes continue into the future, and provide a positive start for many young children. We welcome your support for this project, and donations can be made here.