Tufton calls on early childhood institutions to get registered

Sunday, June 24, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) — Minister of Health, Dr Christopher Tufton, is urging early childhood institutions to get certified, so that children can get the best start in their education.

Tufton, who is also the Member of Parliament for West Central St Catherine, told a recent Early Child Commission (ECC) forum, held at the Kitson Town Resource Centre, in the parish, that institutions must be guided by the commission's standards.

“In your institution's interest, you need to meet those standards. More importantly, you are doing it for the children because they deserve the best. If the schools operate less than they should, the child's development will be put at risk,” the minister told the meeting.

The ECC, which is an agency of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, has 12 categories of standards for early childhood institutions.

They relate to staff having the training, knowledge, skills and attitude to help children develop their full potential, and for institutions to have “comprehensive programmes” designed to meet the needs of children.

They also contain specifications of the physical environment and buildings that house the schools; nutritional practices of the institutions; indoor and outdoor equipment for the children; and programmes for the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

Other standards deal with the relationship of the institutions with parents and communities; sound financial practices; effective management; and the general protection of the children.

Meanwhile, Chairman of the ECC, Trisha Williams-Singh, told the gathering that there is a need for them to engage in discussions about the establishment of more infant departments in the communities.

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