CHASE to Continue Support of Early Childhood Education – CEO

Photo: Claudia Gardner Chief Executive Officer of the CHASE Fund, William ‘Billy’ Heaven, addresses the Dudley Grant Memorial Trust Early Childhood Development Conference 2017 at the Iberostar Resort in Montego Bay on Thursday, November 16.

Story Highlights

  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, William ‘Billy’ Heaven, says the organisation will continue to be unwavering in its support of early-childhood education in Jamaica.
  • Mr. Heaven said CHASE’s support to early-childhood development has been provided in the areas of physical infrastructure, the upgrading and equipping of early-childhood institutions (ECIs), the construction of resource centres, as well as training, which is a “big part of our mandate”.
  • He said outside of capital projects, CHASE has financed teacher training and specialist training, nutritional support, conferences, curriculum development through the Dudley Grant Memorial Trust, and institutional support through the Early Childhood Commission.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, William ‘Billy’ Heaven, says the organisation will continue to be unwavering in its support of early-childhood education in Jamaica.

Speaking at the Dudley Grant Memorial Trust Early Childhood Development Conference 2017 held at the Iberostar Resort in Montego Bay on November 16, Mr. Heaven said the organisation is highly satisfied with the returns on its investment in the early-childhood education sector.

He noted that the Fund has contributed $4.2 billion to assist with the development, the transition and the enhancement of the sector over the last 15 years.

“I want to assure you that the CHASE Fund stands behind you. CHASE is a key player in early-childhood education with the provision of financial support to various sectors,” Mr. Heaven told the conference participants, including teachers, instructional leaders, researchers and administrators.

The CHASE Fund was incorporated in 2002 and began its operations in January 2003. It was established to receive, distribute, administer and manage the monetary contributions from the lottery companies pursuant to Section 59G of the Betting Gaming and Lotteries Act, as it relates to sports development, early-childhood education, health, and arts and culture.

Mr. Heaven said CHASE’s support to early-childhood development has been provided in the areas of physical infrastructure, the upgrading and equipping of early-childhood institutions (ECIs), the construction of resource centres, as well as training, which is a “big part of our mandate”.

He said outside of capital projects, CHASE has financed teacher training and specialist training, nutritional support, conferences, curriculum development through the Dudley Grant Memorial Trust, and institutional support through the Early Childhood Commission.

Research projects, he said, have also been funded by CHASE, among them the Early Childhood Stimulation project and a Gap Analysis of Jamaican Students study, which was aimed at developing and assessing an intervention to reduce aggressiveness in children.

“Research is not a ‘glamour’ area, and not a lot of companies will put money into research as opposed to sports. We have done a few research projects,” Mr. Heaven pointed out.

In an interview with JIS News following the opening ceremony, Mr. Heaven further highlighted that infrastructural development accounts for the CHASE Fund’s largest expenditure over the years, with about 70 per cent of the funds channelled in that direction.

He said the CHASE Fund is impressed and highly satisfied with the extraordinary retention rate of teachers who are beneficiaries of training and development programmes that have been funded by the organisation.

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