Salvation Army achieves early childhood learning facility benchmarks

Press Release:-The Salvation Army Day Care and Preschool operations is now a proud exemplar of the Ministry of Education’s standards for the sector.

They have completed a number of physical enhancements in keeping with specifications for the early childhood learning environment. The specifications relate to bathroom retrofitting and modernisation, classroom layout and furnishings, play spaces, and ventilation. As such, the entire top floor of the Salvation Army’s High Street premises have benefitted from improvements.

The remedial work undertaken includes new windows, the design of which accommodates better air flow and lighting, installation of miniature male urinals, an additional shower and new face basins in the children’s washrooms, reconstructed hexagon desks, separate restroom accommodations for attending staff, a new sandpit and a general facelift.

The renovations were unveiled on Friday August 4th to a team from CIBC FirstCaribbean Bank, led by Country Manager Mrs. Ladesa James-Williams. The renovations were made possible as a result of a donation of EC$67,500 from the bank to the Salvation Army in May 2017.

The site visit was conducted by Captains Derrick and Sandra Mitchell and the Salvation Army’s Advisory Board Chairman Malcom Burns.Captain Mitchell described the project’s completion as a significant milestone for the organisation and a “blessing” for theapproximately 70 children currently entrusted to our care five days a week in the daycare and preschool.”

According to Captain Mitchell, daycare and preschool operations in Saint Lucia are being steered towards international best practices by the Ministry of Education.  “However, for an organisation like ours which serves families that cannot afford, sometimes finding the funds to gain compliance is tough. We continue to be extremely thankful for the interest and the commitment of CIBC FirstCaribbean,” he concluded.

Mrs. Williams commended the Salvation Army officials on “the extensive improvements and the quality of the work,” noting that a healthy physical space in the learning environment is as important as what is imparted. “We at CIBC FirstCaribbean regard our team members as our biggest asset. The Salvation Army exemplifies the same values in the work you do in our communities,” She further commended the organisation for striving to meet the early childhood learning facilities benchmarks “which will no doubt greatly enhance the learning experience for the children”.

CIBC FirstCaribbean, through its heritage bank, Barclays enjoys a relationship with the Salvation Army which dates back 115 years.  Apart from this latest donation the bank’s annual contribution to the Saint Lucia chapter is now in its 4th year and takes the form of assistance with the Christmas Kettle Appeal and food and toy drives by staff.