Sun | Aug 14, 2022

Early childhood institutions to get mattresses toward isolation centres, rest areas

Published:Thursday | August 4, 2022 | 7:49 AM
Minister of Labour and Social Security, Karl Samuda (centre), makes a point to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Colette Roberts Risden (right) during the handover of mattresses to the Early Childhood Commission for distribution to early-childhood institutions across Jamaica. The handover took place at the Ministry’s facility on Marcus Garvey Drive in St Andrew on August 3. Sharing the moment is Community Relations Manager at the ECC, Tanisha Miller. - Contributed photo.

Early childhood institutions across Jamaica will benefit from a donation of 300 mattresses from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security.

The contribution was at the request of the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) in the Ministry of Education and Youth.

The mattresses will provide for the establishment of isolation centres at the schools to satisfy the Ministry of Health and Wellness' requirements for the containment of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Speaking at a handover of some of the mattresses at the Ministry's facility on Marcus Garvey Drive in St Andrew on Wednesday, Portfolio Minister, Karl Samuda, said the items will also facilitate the setting up of rest areas for the children.

He said that the donation is a “concrete display of joined-up government” and will ensure that the “children can be made more comfortable while the professionals go about their business of developing their minds”.

He noted that the ECC, which is one of the key partners in the Ministry's Early Stimulation Programme for children with developmental disabilities, will also be supplied with a quantity of facemasks for the schools.

“It is one objective, and we are working towards one goal of making our children better able to cope,” Samuda said.

Community Relations Manager at the ECC, Tanisha Miller, said the donation will help schools in meeting and maintaining at least five of the 12 legal operating standards.

The standards, which cover a wide range of areas are – staffing; developmental/educational programmes; interactions and relationships with children; the physical environment; indoor and outdoor equipment, furnishing and supplies; health; nutrition; safety; child rights, child protection and equality; interactions with parents and community members; administration; and finance.

“We have to look at the physical environment, the outdoor and the indoor space. We have to look at health,” Miller said.

She noted that the mattresses will also aid in helping children to rest and “this will go a far way in stimulating our small ones”.

For her part, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Colette Roberts Risden, said that the items will facilitate ongoing COVID-19 safety measures by the institutions.

She said the donation symbolises the partnership and continued relationship between the Ministry and the ECC.

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

- JIS News

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