• Category

  • Content Type

Dividends from Early-Childhood-Education Investments Highlighted

By: , June 6, 2023

The Full Story

Culture, Health, Arts, Sports, and Education (CHASE) Fund Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Wilford “Billy” Heaven, says investing in early-childhood education is critical to the development of Jamaica’s children, noting that this has long-term benefits for the society.

Addressing students, teachers, and parents at the Westmoreland-based Savanna-la-Mar Infant School recently, Mr. Heaven said the quality of early-childhood education is the difference between success and failure and has proven to be a deterrent to crime and other deviant behaviour.

“It is very important for us, as a society, to place great emphasis on early-childhood education. It must be a priority… the reason is obvious. When we have high quality, early-childhood education, the young children… the young minds that you see here at this school… they will succeed in school and education at every level. They will become better citizens. They learn more and so they earn more… that’s a given… and they will improve the quality of life throughout the society,” he underscored.

The CEO added, “We have to make our young children our focus, so that when they grow they will also create a better workforce… [and] become more qualified and better able to deliver in the private sector.”

Mr. Heaven said quality early-childhood-education programmes also help children to develop healthy habits and promote physical activity.

He noted that children benefiting from quality programme delivery are more likely to have a healthy lifestyle and engage in best practices. “It also helps to reduce the risk of chronic diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease in later life,” he added.

“Quality early-childhood education programmes help children to develop social and emotional skills, such as self-regulation, empathy, and communication. These skills are essential for building positive relationships with others and are linked to better mental health outcomes as adults,” Mr. Heaven further noted.

He advised that since its inception, the CHASE Fund has invested approximately $6.2 billion in early-childhood education, adding that the entity remains a key player in the sector and will continue to promote and support the welfare of young children.

The CHASE Fund was incorporated in 2002, with operations commencing in January 2003.

It was established to receive, distribute, administer and manage monetary contributions from 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 through upgrading and equipping early-childhood institutions and the construction of resource centres, as well as training.

“In the 2022/23 financial year, 30 infant schools/departments islandwide were upgraded through minor works, including roof repairs, bathroom renovation, doors and windows installation, and establishment of play areas,” he indicated.

“These schools also were equipped with items such as student and teacher furniture, kitchen equipment, fans and play equipment. Under the CHASE Technology Enhancement Programme, technological aids in the form of computers, printers and interactive displays, were provided to 170 early-childhood institutions across the island, benefiting over 2,500 infants,” Mr. Heaven added.

Last Updated: June 6, 2023

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
1. Are you a staff member of the Jamaica Information Service?
2. What is your main reason for visiting our website?
3. What kind of device are you using?
4. How easy was it to find the information you were looking
5. Was the overall design of the website easy to understand?
6. Do you find the fonts on the website easy to read?
7. Do you find the images used on the website to be engaging and visually appealing?
8. Do you find the content on the website to be accurate and up-to-date?
9. Do you find the content on the website to be helpful in achieving your goals?
Skip to content