Advertisement
JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Teen mothers attending Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF) facilities across the island are benefiting from training to better help them to stimulate their babies and support their development.
  • Director of Sector Support Services at the ECC, Michelle Campbell, told JIS News that the initiative is in keeping with the Commission’s communication strategy, which includes providing early-stimulation training for parents and caregivers.
  • Mrs. Campbell said the objective is to take the training to all of the centres.

Teen mothers attending Women’s Centre of Jamaica Foundation (WCJF) facilities across the island are benefiting from training to better help them to stimulate their babies and support their development.

The training sessions are being conducted by Early Childhood Commission (ECC) development officers using the ‘Parenting Programme in Health Centres – What You Do With Baby Matters’ training package developed by the Caribbean Institute for Health Research at the University of the West Indies (UWI).

Director of Sector Support Services at the ECC, Michelle Campbell, told JIS News that the initiative is in keeping with the Commission’s communication strategy, which includes providing early-stimulation training for parents and caregivers.

Among the areas being covered are how to love your children; the importance of talking and reading to babies; using bath time for play and learn; and teaching mothers how to make toys for their babies that help to develop their imagination. Mrs. Campbell said that the ECC began its six-session training programme in Parent Month in November. To date, four sessions have been held at WCJF facilities in St. Ann, Portland, St. Mary, and St. Thomas.

Mrs. Campbell said the objective is to take the training to all of the centres.

Manager at the St. Ann’s Bay Women’s Centre, Velma Monteith, said that the girls find the programme helpful and insightful, and are really grateful for the help in attending to their babies.

“I saw one of them, who told me that she would be singing more to her baby, based on what she learnt,” she told JIS News.

The WCJF has seven main centres and nine outreach stations across the island. It aims to facilitate continued education and support for girls under the age of 17, who become pregnant while attending school.

The ECC, which is an agency of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, coordinates all activities, development plans and programmes within the early-childhood sector.