Projects and achievements include:  

1994-1996: The Evaluation and Revitalization Project was funded by the Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF). The Early Childhood Education system was evaluated and a project geared towards the revitalization of interest in this level of education was undertaken.  This project, under its Director, Mrs Freda Thomas, provided the basis for significant interest in and advocacy for attention and investment in early childhood development in Jamaica.  Included in this project were:

  1. the development of Competency Standards for the Certification of Early Childhood workers at three levels, which were published by the National Council on Technical, and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET).
  2. A pilot programme integrating Day Care and Early Childhood Education including the Roving Caregivers’/ Early Childhood Home Visiting Programme.   National Youth Service volunteers (n= 240) were trained to work in institutions providing Early Childhood Care and Development.
  3. A public education programme named Operation START (Start Teaching At the Right Time)

1995: The Public Education programme Operation START won the prestigious 1995 Gleaner Honour Award in Jamaica in recognition of its social purpose and impact.

1996: The Office of the Prime Minister of the Government of Jamaica selected Basic Schools as the island’s Labour Day project.  This led to the refurbishing and improvement of many Basic Schools.

1998: The Resource Centre Upgrading Project (RCUP) targeted the Resource Centres in each parish that were mandated to serve as information and activity hubs for the basic schools in the parish.  It was funded by the BvLF, and the European Union in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. A major objective was the design and co-sponsoring of the delivery of training for the community managers in the early childhood programme.  The project required liaison with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health as the birth to three age group was included in the early childhood age group of birth to eight years old.  The project therefore had as an important objective, the development of an integrated approach to early child development.  This included parenting education and the replication of the Roving Caregivers programme in one parish.

1999: The Partnership for Poverty Reduction Programme, a joint venture of the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme and the Inter American Foundation presented its annual award to the Dudley Grant Memorial Trust in recognition and promotion of best practice, poverty reduction programmes implemented through partnerships.

1999: The Basic School Movement of Jamaica received the prestigious Oscar van Leer Award on the Golden Anniversary of the Bernard van Leer Foundation.  The presentation was made in The Hague, the Netherlands.

2000:  The Transitional Pilot Project was undertaken in Clarendon.  The project implemented recommendations based on a research study commissioned by the DGMT to identify difficulties experienced by children making the transition from Basic to Primary School.

2000: The National Early Childhood Curriculum was revised to include the birth to three year olds and to emphasize the integrated approach to learning.  Funded by UNICEF, the development of a new curriculum for the birth to five year old age range and its piloting were also completed.  

2003: The Trust endorsed the Early Childhood Commission Act which was passed as part of the legislative and regulatory framework to support the implementation of operational standards and regulations in the early childhood sector.  The Early Childhood Commission was officially launched on May 19, 2004.

2003: The Jamaica Early Childhood Association (JECA) was launched.  The association combined the former National Association of Parish Boards, the Day Care Association and other members of the early childhood sector.

2003: Resource Centre Upgrading Project 2 was a joint three year project of the BvLF and a new partner, the Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EFJ).  DGMT, with Project Director, Mrs Ceceile Minott, was responsible for administering the project, designed to build capacity and promote sustainability in the 17 Early Childhood Resource Centres islandwide, and which had as its goals:

  1. To enhance the capacity of the resource centres to deliver integrated programmes and services for the holistic development of children in the early childhood years (birth to 8 years)
  2. To promote the resource centre concept as a community mobilizing force integral to early childhood development and child survival.

Project components included:

  • research on the impact of social issues on early childhood development ;  

  • management support and capacity building through information technology,

  • scholarships and assistance for children in the birth to 6 age group and who have special needs;

  • training to support the delivery of the NCTVET Certification Programme for Early Childhood Caregivers; support to facilitate parenting programmes and community mobilization;

  • introduction of a pilot phase of the home visiting stimulation programme (Roving Caregivers)

  • Refurbishing and capacity building of 15 early child resource centres across the island.

Collaborative inputs were made by the Early Childhood Unit of the Ministry of Education Youth and Culture as well as by UNICEF.

2004: The DGMT commissioned and published the book “The Early Childhood Movement in Jamaica: Building Blocks for the Future” written by Myrtle Gaynor and Joyce Thompson.


2005: DGMT mounted a survey of the quality of learning environments in basic schools (for children 3 years 8 months to six years old) in three parishes in Jamaica with support from the BvLF and the EFJ. The data were needed to improve support for learning opportunities and curriculum development in basic schools through the parish-based Early Childhood Resource Centres by identifying and prioritising needs and drawing on examples of good practice.  

The occurrence of good and excellent practice was identified, however, less than a fifth of basic schools were providing the variety and depth of learning experiences children need. Sixteen recommendations were made for the role of the Resource Centres in the improvement of quality in basic schools.

2006: the Borrow a Book Programme in Early Childhood Resource Centres was introduced with the support of the Canadian High Commission and the George Brown College in Ontario, Canada.   

2007: the DGMT partnered with the ELMA Relief Foundation, based in the USA, which supports relief efforts for populations affected by both natural and man-made disasters, with a special emphasis on children. The project provided resources to alleviate the physical damage and psychological trauma experienced by children in five (5) parishes; Clarendon, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, St. Thomas and Portland as a result of Hurricane Dean in August 2007.

2007: The Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund established by the Government of Jamaica supported the work of the DGMT in the following:  

  • Liaising with Parish Boards, Resource Centre Managers, Ministry of Education Officers, Teachers and Parents regarding the construction, furnishing of the centres and classrooms, in keeping with guidelines established by the Early Childhood Commission and the Early Childhood Standards.
  • Assisting with the furnishing of the newly refurbished early childhood resource centres and training the staff in the Caenwood Day Care Centre.
  • Liaising with HEART/NCTVET regarding the resource centres offering NCTVET Level II training to teachers in their parishes.
  • Sharing information about the CHASE Fund with the early childhood institutions and other community groups through the resource centres.
  • Coordinating training of the Early Childhood Resource Centre Managers.
  • Coordinating an annual two (2) day exposition which focused on the early childhood practitioners becoming knowledgeable about the learning environment supporting the early childhood curriculum and its materials/resources and being motivated to provide this environment in their schools. 

2007: The Dudley Grant Memorial Trust hosted a luncheon on December 6, at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, in honour of basic schools teachers who had retired during the academic year 2006-2007 with a minimum of forty years’ service in the early childhood development sector.

The function was also a commemoration of the BvLF’s over forty years of project support in early childhood development in Jamaica. .

2008: The DGMT started working with the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre in Toronto, Canada on a parenting programme called Learning Through Play (LTP). The main purpose of introducing the programme to Jamaica has been to improve the health and well-being of children and their long term mental health development. Over 60 Early Childhood Officers at the Ministry of Education Early Childhood Unit were trained. 

2010: The LTP parenting project expanded and the Jamaica Social investment Fund (JSIF) funded it to work with approximately 900 parents (600 mothers and 300 fathers) in five (5) communities in St. Andrew and St. Catherine. The project also worked with teachers in the ECIs in these communities. The objectives were: (a) to provide parents with information on the healthy growth and development of young children (birth to 6 years), focussing on the physical, intellectual, linguistic, and socio-emotional aspects of development; (b) to teach parents different ways of parenting their children so as to decrease their involvement in crime and violence and (c) to teach play activities that enhance child development.

2012: The DGMT project, Piloting Biodiversity in Jamaican Basic Schools was developed and funding was received from the UNDP and EFJ to support the delivery of the Ministry of Education’s Jamaican Early Childhood Curriculum, by introducing hands-on Environmental Education (EE) at the foundation stages of learning (the Basic school level).The overall objective of the project was to support the delivery of the Ministry of Education Jamaican Early Childhood Curriculum by piloting biodiversity education in 20 Jamaican Basic schools. This was achieved through the creation of environmentally friendly schools that acted as demonstration sites for other schools so that activities could be replicated. The objectives were achieved through: (1) Creation of stimulating, child friendly outdoor learning environments for students that will be used for inculcating environmental values in them; (2) Training teachers and administrators in the schools how to best infuse environmental education into the teaching of the Jamaican Early Childhood Curriculum; (3) Building environmental awareness in the broader school community and address one environmental problem (deforestation) as a practical component of the training. 


Expositions were staged by the DGMT in collaboration with the Jamaica National Building Society and the Early Childhood Commission in order to increase the awareness of Resource Centre Managers, Basic School teachers as well as parents and others interested in early childhood development about the range of resources available from various sources in Jamaica.  Displays were mounted by suppliers and persons attending could also be involved in workshops and seminars organised by the DGMT around specific themes.  

  • Expo 2009  Stimulating Early Childhood Development in Jamaica
  • Expo 2010  Jamaica Land we Love: Charting our children’s future
  • Expo 2011 Learning through Play
  • Expo 2012 Celebrating Jamaica 50th in Early Childhood Development


In 2013, a Conference replaced the Exposition and the DGMT Early Childhood Education Conference has become an annual event.  The 2013 theme was: Early Childhood Development for nation building in Jamaica: retrospective and prospective.

The year 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the DGMT and the theme for the Conference was Early Childhood Development: strengthening community involvement. Tribute was paid to stalwarts who had worked with Mr Grant in the first project for Early Childhood Education in the late1960s and 1970s.  

In 2015, the Conference was part of a week of celebrations to mark the centenary of the birth of Mr Dudley Grant in whose memory the Trust was established.   The week’s programme included:

  • A Church Service:  East Queen St Baptist Church
  • Birthday Celebrations and Tree Planting at Teachers’ Colleges
  • Symposia at Shortwood Teachers’ College and The Mico University College
  • The Dudley Grant Story – a storybook for children developed by DGMT, was distributed to and read at 3,200 early childhood institutions islandwide.  
  • Dudley Grant Memorial Lecture – Jamaica Pegasus Hotel

“A Good Start: advancing Early Childhood Development “  

Dr Joan Lombardi, Senior Advisor, Bernard Van Leer Foundation

  • Annual Conference: “Self-Regulation: Supporting every child’s needs

The 2016 Conference theme was: Changing the landscape of Early Childhood Development: pathways to progress.