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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Work on the new $83-million Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) multipurpose facility is to be completed in time for the upcoming academic year.
  • Director of ESP, Antonica Gunter-Gayle, said she and the staff are very excited about the new facilities, as this will allow them to better serve their clients.
  • Approximately 60 per cent of ESP students are from the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) or lower socio-economic households.

Work on the new $83-million Early Stimulation Programme (ESP) multipurpose facility is to be completed in time for the upcoming academic year.

The facility, which is being constructed on Hanover Street, in Kingston, is being built through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Integrated Social Protection and Labour Programme.

Chief Technical Director in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Damion Cox, told JIS News that completion of the facility is set for August 31.

“The upgrade includes the demolition of existing clinical and administrative buildings and the construction of a multipurpose meeting room, three assessment rooms with bathrooms, [a] sensory and speech therapy room, storage room, green space and parking area,” he informed.

Director of ESP, Antonica Gunter-Gayle, said she and the staff are very excited about the new facilities, as this will allow them to better serve their clients.

“I am looking [forward] to the opening of the new centre. I am excited about what is happening and I just cannot wait to see our children and the parents we serve having intervention in a much better environment than was offered before. We want to give the highest quality service possible,” Mrs. Gayle said.

The ESP caters to children up to six years old with mild to severe physical and intellectual disabilities as well as those with visual and hearing impairments. It currently serves 1,516 children, with as many as 60 who visit the location for weekly assessments.

Services offered by the ESP include identification and development assessment of preschool children, physiotherapy, home-based intervention, special early-childhood education as well as parenting workshops and counselling.

Children are referred to the ESP through hospitals, health centres, schools, early childhood centres and by beneficiary parents.

Approximately 60 per cent of ESP students are from the Programme of Advancement through Health and Education (PATH) or lower socio-economic households.