JIS: State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green, says Parent Places are needed at early-childhood institutions (ECIs), in an effort to provide parents with the necessary tools to offer psychosocial stimulation and educational support to their children.
Speaking at a recent handover ceremony for the expanded Middlesex Infant School in Holland Bamboo, St. Elizabeth, the State Minister said parental involvement at an early age is critical, noting that it ensures positive learning outcomes beyond the early-childhood years.
In this regard, Mr. Green said the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) has been mandated to get Parent Places instituted at ECIs, in order to foster proactive parenting education and support.
“Parent Places are necessary, so that when the parents come, it is not just to drop off children and pick up children… . You have to schedule a time and come in, so we can do some counselling with you, because we recognise that we can be doing excellent work at school and it is being eroded when they go back into some of our homes and communities,” the State Minister argued.
The State Minister emphasised that home-school partnerships are important to building a strong foundation in early-childhood development.
“So, we are on a mission to ensure that parents understand that they are a part of this partnership, and, as such, we are looking to establish Parent Places at our early-childhood institutions,” he said.
In the meantime, Senior Education Inspector for Region 5, Andrea Tulloch Davis, told JIS News that the establishment of Parent Places at ECIs forms part of the ECC’s 12 required standards for operation.
Mrs. Tulloch Davis said Parent Places have become necessary in ECIs, as recent reports released by the National Education Inspectorate (NEI) have revealed that there is an absence of parental involvement at the early-childhood level.
“When you look at the reports that are generated from the inspections, we would normally be getting zero per cent, so that is why the Early Childhood Commission thinks it is really important to get the Parent Places up and running, so we can get the involvement of as many parents as possible,” she added.
CAPTION: State Minister in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Floyd Green (right), converses with J Wray and Nephew (JWN) Foundation Chairman, Clement “Jimmy” Lawrence (left) and Chairperson of the Early Childhood Commission, Trisha Williams-Singh, at the handover ceremony for the expanded Middlesex Infant School in Holland Bamboo, St. Elizabeth, on September 28. The school was upgraded by the JWN Foundation at a cost of over $30 million.