JIS: Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Alando Terrelonge, says that more early-childhood institutions and infant departments will be developed under the Brain Builders Programme.
He was addressing the opening ceremony of the Early Childhood Commission’s (ECC) first annual Professional Development Institute, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on Tuesday (May 21).
The Brain Builders Programme aims to reduce cognitive learning challenges among infants in the country. It is a framework for action in the first 1,000 days of a child’s life, which starts from conception to age two.
Under this initiative, the ECC will be responsible for establishing 126 Brain Builders centres across the island, with two in each constituency.
Mr. Terrelonge lauded the ECC for the work being done to improve Jamaica’s early-childhood sector.
“I want to say a special thank you to the ECC for everything they have done to revamp early-childhood education in Jamaica. It is… one of the best elements of our education system. The first 1,000 days (of a child’s life) matter, and the work of the Commission matters so much [and] they recognise this,” he noted.
The Education State Minister underscored the Government’s commitment to ensuring that early-childhood institutions are certified.
“As an Administration, we are serious about the certification of early-childhood institutions. Currently, there are 167 certified early-childhood institutions, which is an important accomplishment,” he noted.
“The ECC; the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Grace McClean; and the entire staff at the Ministry must be lauded,” he said.
The EEC’s Professional Development Institute, under the theme ‘Creating quality learning environments for strong foundations’, brings together stakeholders from around the world to share best practices that shape early childhood development.
Tuesday’s opening ceremony included tributes to former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Edward Seaga; former Minister of Education, Hon. Maxine Henry-Wilson; and former Chairman of the ECC, Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughn for their contribution to early-childhood development.
The three-day event concludes on Thursday (May 23).
CAPTION: Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Hon. Alando Terrelonge ( centre); and Senior Advisor on Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC), Finnish National Agency of Education, Kati Costiander ( right), listen attentively to Chairman of the Early Childhood Commission (ECC), Tricia Williams-Singh. Occasion was the opening ceremony of the ECC’s Professional Development Institute at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in St. James on Tuesday (May 21).