JIS News

Minister of Education, Andrew Holness has informed that Cabinet has approved a proposal from the Ministry to reduce the cost for the registration of early childhood institutions.
The Minister made this disclosure, yesterday (February 19), as he moved a Resolution to amend the Early Childhood (Amendment) Regulations, 2008, in the House of Representatives, in order to effect the reduction of the fees charged by the Early Childhood Commission.
Mr. Holness pointed out that the cost for the registration of early childhood institutions has been reduced from $3,000 to $1,500. He also informed that fees charged by the Fire Department will be reduced from $2,500 to $1,500 and that a food handler’s permit would be reduced from $500 to $300.
“We have also added an additional amendment, which would give the Minister the discretion to waive or limit in whole or in part, any fee payable under the regulations,” the Minister said.
“This is important because we anticipate there will be some schools that simply will not be able to meet the fees and so, whilst it was not provided for in the regulations.we are now making accommodations, so that the Minister in his discretion, when those cases are brought to me, can waive or return fees,” he added.
The Minister argued that the Government has made significant steps in ensuring that early childhood institutions can meet the registration requirements.Member of Parliament for St. Andrew South Eastern, Maxine Henry Wilson, who supported the Resolution, said that the leadership of the communities in which early childhood institutions exist should “take an active part in ensuring that the registration and all the other stages become a part of the community’s life.”
The Early Childhood Act, which was passed in 2003, and its attendant Regulations (2005), govern the operations of the Early Childhood institutions in the country.
This Act and the Regulations outline the minimum operating standards that all Early Childhood institutions must achieve, in order to ensure that all children have equity and access to quality early childhood development programmes within healthy, safe and nurturing environments.
The Early Childhood (Amendment) Regulations, 2008, were passed without amendments.

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