The Impact of Preschool Education on Learning and Development on Children in Trinidad and Tobago – 2015 – 2020






Research: The impact of preschool education on learning and development on children in Trinidad and Tobago.

  • To document changes in the lives of former beneficiaries of a variety of Early Childhood experiences.
  • To determine the national, social and financial benefits of Early Childhood investments.
  • To determine how interventions could be designed to enhance the impact of investments in quality Early Childhood experiences.

34,000 Preschool Students (Public/Private)

120,763 Primary School Students

  • Curriculum Implementation and Change in the Preschool and Primary Classroom: A Handbook for Practitioners
  • Policy recommendation document for consideration by relevant agencies
  • Journal Articles

The University of the West Indies-Family Development Centre (FDC) has embarked on a longitudinal study to assess the social and financial benefits of early childhood investments. Regular evaluation of early childhood programmes can help to check on progress and assess immediate or short and eventual long term impact on participants. It is particularly important, to know whether there has been any long-term impact on children, some years after they have left the respective ECCE programme and are in a very different environment. Further, it is vital to investigate the returns on investment across early childhood care and education (ECCE) experiences (public, private, home education and The UWI Children’s Centre).

A case study methodology will be utilized to track progress of children from ECCE to the end of their primary school tenure and document the impact of varying environments, experiences and curriculum on a 4+ cohort during their five (5) years in the primary school environment. A research team of local academic staff, New Jersey City University academics and international adjunct professors will be conducting this crucial research study from September 2015 to June 2020.

The study will examine student outcomes over the identified time. It will be an important step in the process of separating those approaches that actually influence development and occasion positive change in the learning and development process, from those that do not/may not influence desired change in learning and development.

Leadership, Professionalism and Practice in Early Childhood Environments in the Caribbean: A Comparative Study between Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago






Research: Leadership, Professionalism and Practice in Early Childhood Environments in the Caribbean: A Comparative Study between Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago.

a) Examine aspects of professionalism among early childhood practitioners in the English speaking Caribbean.

b) Analyse teachers’ perceptions of quality practice against perceived new modalities of professionalism and leadership in the early childhood classroom.

c) Examine teachers’ perception of leadership and develop and document culturally appropriate strategies to develop leadership in the Early Childhood Sector.

Direct impact: 353 Early Childhood Caregivers

408 Government Preschool Teachers

1550 Private Preschool Teachers

1524 Teachers in Training

  • Policy recommendation document for consideration by relevant agencies
  • Journal Articles

Globally, researchers (Rodd 2012; Karila 2008; Bush 2012; Watts 2009) have been intensifying their work in the areas of leadership and professionalism among early childhood practitioners. These researchers have found that changing socio-political and contextual demands warrant an expansion of early years’ services for children and families with the ability to provide sensitive and skilled leadership highlighted as a key function. Further, these studies reveal that the leadership style and performance of leaders of early childhood services – even when not the main focus of investigation – impact upon practice and policy, and determine the development and implementation of relevant and innovative services (Dunlop, 2008).

It is this need for teachers in the ECCE environment accept more leadership roles and to be given more opportunities to become leaders in their respective preschools, as well as for teachers to be viewed as professional leaders in their workplace while examining the cultural nuances of the countries in question. It is against this backdrop and a need to examine cultural nuances that The UWI-FDC has embarked on this study.

The UWI-FDC intends to conduct field research in two English Speaking Countries in the Caribbean – Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados. The purpose of this cross national study is to examine aspects of leadership that affect practice and procedures in early childhood environments.Ultimately, the study aims to extract possible links between practitioners, leadership skills and competencies in the hope to discover possible effects on the quality of delivery in early childhood centres.The provision of data from current research on leadership and its link to quality practice by practitioners will be the focus of this investigation.

In the initial stages of the research four countries (St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago) in the Caribbean were chosen but due to financial constraints it was lessened to two countries: Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago. In both countries structured early childhood education begins from the age of 3-5 years. Although there are nurseries/day cares for those children below the age of three (3), the actual structure of the programmes cannot be easily ascertained. Another similarity that was noted, was that in both countries, persons interested in becoming ECCE practitioners must at least hold a Diploma in Education or Certificate of Training recognized by the Ministry of Education. With regards to the curriculum utilised, for Barbados, children at the pre-primary level are at school for fifteen (15) hours per week. They are taught through guided activities which individually range from twenty (20) to thirty (30) minutes long and address specific areas of learning such as Mathematics, Language Arts, Physical Education, Drama, Music and Environmental Studies. In Trinidad and Tobago, however, the Curriculum used in the Early Childhood and Care Centres are governed and guided by the National Early Childhood Care and Education Curriculum guide. Providers of Early Childhood Care and Education services are advised to consult this document for best teaching practices.

A mixed methodology was chosen for this research. The population size of each country was considered, the number of preschools of each country and the number of preschool teachers determined for each school. A random sample of three hundred and fifty three (353) preschool teachers, practitioners and administrators within the education system were selected (representing five percent of the preschool practitioner population).

This research will enable access to new information and present key understandings about aspects of leadership as they relate to quality practice in early childhood environment in the two (2) countries identified.

It will, therefore:

  • Develop, analyse and interpret aspects of leadership which relate to early childhood practice.
  • Identify local, regional and international issues, problems, and policies that may be linked to leadership strategies and quality practice.
  • Investigate practitioners’ leadership and governance in the field of early childhood and examine possible links between practitioners’ notions of leadership against quality practice.


Bush , T. (2012). Leadership in Early Childhood Eucation. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 41(1), 3-4.

Dunlop, A. (2008). A literature review on leadership in the early years. URL: http://www. ltscotland. org. uk/publications/a/leadershipreview. asp–Download vom, 5, 2011.

Karila, K. (2008). A Finnish viewpoint on professionalism in early childhood education. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 16(2), 210-223.

Rodd, J. (2013). Leadership in Early Childhood Education. Berkshire, England: McGraw-Hill House.

Watts, J. M. (2008). Professionalism in early childhood education. Humboldt State University . Retrieved February 23, 2016, from