Education Ministry to Implement Intervention Programme for Young Children


The Ministry of Education and Youth is in the process of implementing a national screening, referral and early intervention programme for children from birth to eight years old, who are at risk in the education system.
In her contribution to the 2007/08 Sectoral Debate in the House yesterday (June 12), Minister Maxine Henry Wilson pointed out that the programme was being implemented through the Early Childhood Commission (ECC).
“Under this project, the Commission has validated what we call the ‘Ages and Stages Questionnaire’, to facilitate the identification of children with developmental and behavioural problems,” said the Minister.
She added that the ECC would be doing the questionnaire in collaboration with the Ministry of Health. “So that in some of our health centres the instruments will be available and the interventions will be available as a part of the national screening and referral programme,” Mrs. Henry Wilson said.
“We intend to have the programme accredited and to be offered by the University of the West Indies, that is, the programme for screening and referrals,” she added. In addition, Mrs. Henry Wilson pointed out that a plan of action for the screening, referral and early intervention for children from birth to eight years was developed.
“This national plan of action should be implemented this year as a part of the early childhood development process. So, when we talk about identifying issues relating to behaviour, we want to start early. We are not just identifying the children, we also have a programme to deal with the families of those children who are deemed to be at risk,” the Minister pointed out.

JIS Social