The Stimulation Plus Early Childhood Development Centre, downtown Kingston is receiving a much needed facelift on May 23 as members from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security have come out to clean and beautify the surroundings, and put in play equipment.
The work being done at the centre, which was selected by the Ministry as its Labour Day project this year, is also receiving support from patron of the Early Stimulation Programme, Mrs. Lorna Golding, parents, staff and community members.
Activities at the school include repainting classrooms and play area; gardening and bushing; installation of a swing; repairing furniture and fixtures; and installation of decorative charts and posters etcetera.
Speaking to JIS News after making his Labour Day contribution to the centre, State Minister in the Ministry, Hon. Andrew Gallimore, said that the institution is of great significance to the nation at large.
He said the Government is committed to ensure that children, who have disabilities, “are given the focused attention they need to give them that early stimulation so that they can become what they can become, by not being neglected and put aside but by being in an educational institution that will (assist them)”.
“We are seeking to have all persons with disabilities streamlined properly in our education system,” he added, noting that a collaborative effort across all Ministries will be implemented to ensure equity.
Director for the Ministry’s Early Stimulation Programme, Antonica Gunter-Gayle, said “a tremendous amount of work” is being undertaken at the institution to ensure that the students have a better learning environment, noting that the project started earlier in the month.
“This work will benefit the children in a very positive way. We really need this kind of assistance and we are happy this morning that our parents, friends, and Minister could come out and lend a helping hand because we really need this assistance,” she said.
Parent, Candea Brim, in lauding the work being done, said that the brightly painted areas will assist in stimulating the children.
The centre evolved out of the Labour Ministry’s Early Stimulation Programme, which was started in 1975 and provides developmental assessment and early intervention for children from birth to six years, who exhibit some form of developmental delay.
The facility caters to children with Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, learning disabilities, behavioural problems and mental retardation, among others.
BY CHRIS PATTERSON, JIS Reporter