300 mattresses donated to early childhood institutions
Early childhood institutions across the island 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 COVID-19.
Speaking at a handover of some of the mattresses at the Labour 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 face masks 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 said that the mattresses will also aid in helping children to rest and "this will go a far way in stimulating our small ones".