Mapping the Contours of Caribbean Early Childhood Education

  • Kerry-Ann Escayg University of Nebraska-Omaha
  • Zoyah Kinkead-Clark The University of the West Indies, Mona
Keywords: anti-colonial, Caribbean, early childhood education, decolonization, curriculum policy, cultural identity


Regional scholars in the Caribbean context have long advocated for quality early childhood education. The majority of their contributions however, focus primarily on curriculum, policy, and to a lesser extent, teaching practices. In this article, we broaden the scope of extant literature by conceptualizing a model for Caribbean early childhood education, one which draws on and supports an anti-colonial and decolonizing perspective. Specifically, we interrogate the enduring legacy of colonialism on teaching and learning practices—and illustrate how these manifest in contemporary schooling processes. Equally significant, we examine and critique underlying epistemologies that frame current regional approaches, and offer an alternative framework that accents cultural knowledges in curriculum, pedagogy and teacher education. In response, we foreground childhood decolonization as integral to the development of positive racial and cultural identity, and in such vein, offer curricula, pedagogical and institutional (i.e., teacher education) suggestions consonant with an anti-colonial and decolonizing approach to early childhood education in the English-speaking Caribbean.

Author Biographies

Kerry-Ann Escayg, University of Nebraska-Omaha

Dr. Kerry-Ann Escayg is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. Her research interests include children and race, anti-racism, racial socialization, critical race theory, and Caribbean early childhood education.

Zoyah Kinkead-Clark, The University of the West Indies, Mona

Dr. Zoyah Kinkead-Clark is a lecturer, researcher and coordinator of early childhood programmes at The University of the West Indies, Mona. As a researcher, she is particularly interested in understanding how young children are shaped by their ecological experiences within the home and wider community with the view to explore how educators can build on these in early years classrooms.