Corporal punishment prohibited in early childhood institutions, ECC saysWednesday, April 07, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) says it has noted with deep concern a report in the media that a child in a daycare centre was subjected to corporal punishment, and is reminding operators that corporal punishment is not to be inflicted on any child in an early childhood institution.
“An early childhood institution is a setting that provides developmentally appropriate care, stimulation, education and socialisation for children under the age of six years. This includes daycare centres, basic schools, nurseries, pre-schools and infant schools/departments.
“Section 16 (2) of the Early Childhood Act states that a mechanical or electrical device shall not be used to restrain a child in an early childhood institution. The Act further explains that where restraint of a child is necessary, such restraint shall be administered in accordance with regulations made for that purpose,” the ECC said.
It said Standard 3 of the twelve standards for the operation, management and administration of early childhood institutions states that early childhood staff are required to have the characteristics, training, knowledge, skills and attitude to promote positive behaviours and reduce difficult and challenging behaviours in children.
Acceptable forms of discipline included in this standard are:
1. Positive guidance and re-direction.
2. Use of reasoning and explanation of consequences for children two years and older.
3. Use of time-out for children two years and over.
“Standard 3.2.11 also recommends that the institution's policy on non-use of corporal punishment and physical abuse is reviewed annually with all staff members. Parent information leaflets on the impact of corporal punishment and/or physical abuse on children and appropriate forms of discipline for young children are also to be made available at the institution,” the ECC said.
The Early Childhood Commission Act 2003, Early Childhood Act 2005, Early Childhood Regulations 2005 and the Standards Document for Early Childhood Institutions are available on ECC's website at www.ecc.gov.jm.
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