JIS News

Jamaica’s first ever ‘Mom to be and Baby Expo’ will be staged on Saturday, August 9 and Sunday, August 10 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston, in an effort to promote an understanding of early childhood development and enhance parenting skills.
Lisa Ann O’Gilvie, Expo Producer, Caribbean Events Group made the announcement during a JIS ‘Think Tank’ on Thursday (July 24).
“The idea of an expo is a very sound one, it will bring together the expectant parents and the young children in one setting with the stakeholder organizations and the related consumer brands, retailers. so there can be dialogue,” Miss O’Gilvie said while adding that the event will facilitate an exchange of information and will provide an opportunity for persons to market their specialized services and give advice on matters relating to early childhood and parenting.
According to her, the ‘Mom to be and Baby Expo’ has been in germination for three years and will specifically target expectant parents, parents, and children zero to nine years.
She explained that, “expectant parents were always concerned about finding maternity wear, getting advice on parenting skills and…related stakeholder agencies have found that there are issues as they relate to opportunities to market the very important services that they offer to the wider society.” The expo, she noted, is crucial to assisting both parties.
According to Miss O’Gilvie, 15 stakeholder organizations that focus on parenting and early childhood development have confirmed their participation.
“They range from the Ministry of Health to the Child Development Agency. We are very happy to have them on board and also we wanted to ensure that this event wasn’t just a consumer event where persons simply walked through, picked up a few samples or looked at posters and then they are gone. The idea we had was creating a very interactive expo experience for all our attendees and indeed for the agencies and the consumer brands,” she pointed out.
Activities for the day will include a consultation room provided by the Pediatric Association, “where parents visiting the expo can actually have specific consultations for a limited amount of time,” she explained. Free consultations will also be provided by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and the Grabham Society.
Additionally, the Expo Producer informed that children will be adequately provided for during the two-day event by selected stakeholder agencies.
“We want the children to come out as well so we were very specific in targeting the Institute of Jamaica that will be bringing one of their displays called ‘the squiggly world of bugs’ so it really [promises to be] a very interactive, educational experience for the little ones as well,” she assured.
Continuing, Miss O’Gilvie indicated that “the Jamaica Environment Trust will have a kid’s interactive programme with art and craft and other scheduled activities with a variety of age groups.”
“It is very important that they learn and bring something away from the experience,” she reasoned promising that the expo will be a “really unique and wonderful activity.”
For parents and expectant mothers, “We will have a main room for scheduled presentations between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. [both days] on a wide cross section of topics such as early childhood development, parenting, health and wellness, beauty and taking care of yourself,” she informed, adding that, “it’s really a wonderful blend of the educational and a lot of fun things for people to do and see.”
Other stakeholder agencies participating in the expo include the Registrar General’s Department, National Health Fund, the Nurses’ Association of Jamaica, Jamaica Midwives Association, and the Jamaica Red Cross.