I am pleased to provide an update to members of the Senate on developments and programmes in the early childhood sector.
The Government of Jamaica, recognising that an emphasis on early childhood development (ECD) is strategic to national development has committed to a multi-pronged transformation programme aimed at achieving the best possible outcomes for all Jamaican children from birth to 8 years.
Mr. President while government policy must meet the needs of all children, it is imperative that particular emphasis be placed on the most vulnerable, particularly children with special needs and those living in poverty. Our ECD policy therefore sets out the provision for comprehensive, universally available and equitable early childhood development programmes and services for children.
Historically, Jamaica has evolved a cooperative community based culture of child care provision through churches and civic societies such as the Jamaica Welfare Society which built the first crèche in Jamaica in 1948.
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CAPTION: The Hon. Senator Ruel Reid, CD, Minister of Education, Youth and Information.