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The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) is urging parents to utilise services provided at its 74 Parenting Places, to ensure that they can manage demanding situations in child-rearing.

Making the call at a recent mental health forum for parents and students, held at Paul Mountain Primary School in St. Catherine, Community Relations Manager at the Commission, Tanisha Miller, said once parents become anxious and stressed, they should go to a Parent Place, where they will be helped, along with their children.

“When you are not sure how to deal with your little ones (children) at home, when they are giving a lot of talking, and you think that they are just rude and disobedient, get the help,” she said.

Miss Miller said that no parent will be turned away from a Parent Place, and the children will be stimulated “while you are being counselled”.

The parish of St. Catherine has 13 Parent Places.

Miss Miller told the forum that the ECC also operates 132 Brain Builder Centres, which have nurses and day-care centres, and the services are free to parents.

“Meals are provided, trained teachers are there, and caregivers are there for you,” she told the audience.

The Commission is an agency of the Ministry of Education and Youth and has comprehensive programmes designed to meet the language, physical, cognitive, creative, socio-emotional, spiritual, cultural, and school-readiness needs of children.

It was established by the Early Childhood Commission Act (2003), in keeping with the strategic goal of the Government of Jamaica to improve the quality of early childhood care, education and development within the early childhood sector.

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