Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis stated that the goal of providing grants to expand privately-owned pre-schools is to make more seats available for pre-schoolers, and to enable the Government to meet its targets to achieve universal pre-school education.
“I am very happy to be here today for this grant ceremony that will help to advance our vision of universal pre-school education,” the Prime Minister said at the Access Accelerator Small Business Development Centre’s (SBDC) Presentation of Grants for Pre-School Owners at the SMDC Gladstone Road Freight Terminal, Monday, November 23, 2020.
“We are focused on assisting with the development of the physical infrastructure to facilitate universal pre-school. “Toward this end, one million dollars will be made available for preschools directors.” During the ceremony, the Prime Minister announced that 36 privately-owned pre- schools will be awarded funding of up to $25,000 each.
“Let me congratulate and encourage those who are receiving these grants. I wish you well in your endeavours to help in the nurturing and growth of our pre- schoolers.”
He explained that these funds will facilitate: the opening new preschools, the expansion of existing facilities or the improvement of standards at an existing pre- school facility.
The Prime Minister also noted that the emphasis is on neighbourhoods where there are fast growing populations and where the need is great for pre-school seats. He stated that since 2018, approximately 1,825 new pre-school seats were made available in a pre-school program over the two academic years of 2018/2019 and 2019/2020.
The Prime Minister said approximately 3,300 vouchers have been distributed to over 100 privately-owned pre-schools for the three academic years of 2018/2019 to the present 2020/2021. “These vouchers are valued at approximately $6.6 million. “The Ministry of Education remains committed to its universal pre-school strategy. He said, “The Ministry is currently still enrolling pre-schoolers for the 2020 academic year, notwithstanding the present challenges of COVID-19.”