Sun | Feb 25, 2018

$1M boost for early childhood institutions

Published:Saturday | October 29, 2016 | 12:00 AM
From left: Daryl Vaz, member of parliament, Portland Western; Karlene Deslandes, acting executive director, Early Childhood Commission (ECC); Ann-Marie Vaz, director of One Jamaica Foundation; and Rachael McDonald, ECC commissioner, at the ECC’s Region Two Certification Fair at Lynch Park, Buff Bay, Portland, recently.

Early childhood institutions (ECIs) in the parish of Portland are to benefit from more than $1 million in donation from Daryl Vaz, member of parliament for West Portland, and his wife Ann-Marie, director of One Jamaica Foundation.

Vaz made the pledge while addressing participants at the Early Childhood Commission's (ECC) Region Two Certification Fair held at Lynch Park, Buff Bay, Portland, recently. In making his pledge of $1 million, Vaz expressed the importance of education in significantly enhancing the development of children at the early-childhood level. "With a private-public partnership we can move the compliance rate, enabling our children to move from poverty to prosperity and create an educated youth population," he noted.

Mrs Vaz pledged $250,000 from her One Jamaica Foundation to assist ECIs in the parish to meet the required national legal operating standards, beginning with those in the Portland Western constituency. She further urged the other parishes to establish foundations to assist in areas of need. In accepting the donation, Karlene Deslandes, acting executive director at the ECC, emphasised the commitment of the ECC's board of management to achieve the certification of at least 100 ECIs by August 2017.