Help for Struggling Early Childhood Institutions


Minister of Education, Andrew Holness has informed that funds will be provided for Early Childhood institutions and practitioners struggling to bring their operations in line with the regulations set out in the Early Childhood Act.
In a statement to the House of Representatives on (January 15), on the start of the registration for early childhood institutions, the Minister also appealed to his colleague Members of Parliament to donate funds to help institutions in their constituencies.
Mr. Holness said the majority of early childhood institutions “are community based institutions and so I am appealing to my colleagues to assist these institutions in meeting with some of the cost that they have to face for the application process.”
The Minister, who is Member of Parliament for West Central St. Andrew, has donated a cheque for $72,000 to assist the 24 Early Childhood institutions in his constituency.
The registration process involves a $3,000 fee payable to the Early Childhood Commission and other indirect costs attributed to the required certification. The cost of applying may vary between $8,500 and $15,000.These costs will cover a fire report, a food handler’s permit, medical certificate, police record and a photograph of the applicant.
Documents to be obtained free or at minimal cost include a public health report on the institution, floor plan and details of premises, details of fees, proof of training of all employees, job description and terms of employment of all employees, and a referee.
In addition, the Minister said the Prime Minister’s wife, Lorna Golding has launched a Foundation to raise funds for needy institutions.
The Early Childhood Act, which was passed in 2003, and its attendant Regulations (2005), govern the operations of the Early Childhood institutions in Jamaica.
The Act and 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.
Of the 2,800 early childhood institutions operating in the island, only 29 are government-owned.

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