Early Childhood Stakeholders in Central Jamaica Sensitized About Regulations for The Sector

Operators of early childhood institutions in central Jamaica were sensitized about the new regulations and standards that will govern the sector, at a workshop held recently at the Mandeville Infant School in Manchester.
Speaking at the event, Coordinator for the Enhancement of Basic Schools project, Freda Thomas, said that Jamaica has been working toward the achievement of higher standards for the early childhood sector.
She noted that research over the past decade, has confirmed that what happens in the earliest years of a child’s life significantly influenced how that child develops to adulthood and “we know that if in the first five years a child is properly nurtured and cared for, then it is more likely for he or she to have fewer illnesses and develop thinking, language and appropriate emotional and social skills”.
According to Mrs. Thomas, the setting up of the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) in 2003 to regulate and co-ordinate all services to children from birth through age eight, and the passing of the Early Childhood Act of March 2005 and its accompanying regulations, were designed to ensure that all institutions meet minimum standards.
Education Officer with the Mandeville regional office, Eleanor Senior, outlined to the participants, some of the 12 agreed standards, which formed part of the new thrust.
“There are standards, which relate to staffing, development and educational programmes, interaction and relationships with children, the physical environment, indoor and outdoor equipment, health, nutrition, safety, child right, child protection, equality, administration, finance as well as interactions with parents and wider community members,” she pointed out.
Immediately following the presentations were group discussions on the regulations, which will make it mandatory for the country’s nearly 3,000 early childhood institutions to register with the ECC.

JIS Social