JIS: The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) is encouraging entities and individuals to consider making donations of cash or kind to early-childhood institutions (ECIs), especially during the festive season, in order to help them to meet certification standards.
The Commission is working to certify 100 more ECIs by August 2017. Eighteen institutions were certified this year.
Acting Executive Director of the ECC, Karlene Deslandes, told JIS News that plans are in place to launch the ECC’s Support-A-School Programme in 2017.
The initiative seeks to encourage the donation of toys and play equipment, teaching and learning materials, tablets, computers, Internet and telephone service, or fund required documents such as police records, and food handler’s permits.
Mrs. Deslandes said that the ECIs to be considered for funding and donations are those most in need, based on location as shown on the poverty map created by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ).
She explained that ECIs must have submitted an application for registration to the ECC, and had their premises examined by an ECC Inspector.
Any private individual, reputable group, or entity may offer funding and donations to an ECI.
The main area of need that has been identified among ECIs is infrastructural development, such as building/renovation works, fencing, furniture, and ramps for wheelchair access.
Mrs Deslandes noted that there is also a need for funding for training and professional development for practitioners at the bachelor’s or master’s degree levels, or to fulfil the specific requirements for training in universal precautions, paediatric first aid, and child abuse.
The ECC, which is an agency of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, coordinates all activities, development plans and programmes within the early-childhood sector.
For further information on how to make a donation, persons may contact the ECC at 922-9296 or by email: [email protected].
CAPTION: Photo contributed – Principal at Hemmingay Preparatory and Kindergarten in Norwood, St. James, Pansy Picott, with students in the school’s playground. Hemmingay Preparatory and Kindergarten is certified by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC).