Early Childhood Commission to stage inaugural Parent Partners Forum

Early Childhood Commission to stage inaugural Parent Partners Forum

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) will, on November 19, stage the first-ever Parent Partners Forum.

The event is being held in collaboration with the Education Sector Transformation Plan for Learning and Teaching, a Japan grant-funded Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-implemented technical cooperation initiative.

This was disclosed by programme manager for the Education System Transformation Programme (ESTP), Daynea Facey, in an interview with Jamaica Information Service ( JIS) News.

She said the forum is being held in response to stakeholder concerns that organisations working with parents do not interact with each other. In this regard, she said the forum will bring together all parent partners to help in better streamlining and coordinating their resources.

“We are pulling together all the key players in the sector islandwide that offer parent services targeting children from zero to eight years old; but with primary focus on those zero to three,” Facey said.

Some of the organisations that are slated to participate are the ministries of health and wellness, and labour and social security; the Child Protection and Family Services Agency; and the National Parenting Support Commission.

The event will also be used by the ESTP and ECC to launch an Early Childhood Parent Partners Directory and First 1,000 app.

The directory will contain information and contacts of parent partners and is expected to be ready for distribution in January 2020.

The app, which was conceptualised by the ECC, is intended to assist current and prospective parents in accessing information on all aspects of parenting.

The ECC's Systems Administrator Kayedean Allen told JIS News that the commission believes that technologically-driven solutions are important in the thrust to highlight parenting and child-rearing best practices.

“This app will be easy to use, [will] appeal to the intended client base, and is at no cost to the user. Not only will it provide you with information but it will also allow you to store information such as the profile of your children,” she further explained.

Allen emphasised that the first 1,000 days are regarded as the most sensitive period in a child's life, as it is marked by rapid brain development and accompanying vulnerability to deficiency in care.

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