The Early Childhood Commission (ECC) is reporting that it received $20 million in 2016 to help with efforts to develop early-childhood institutions (ECIs) that are in need.

This amount was donated by stakeholders and partners, such as the Culture, Health, Arts, Sports and Education (CHASE) Fund, the New York-based Union of Jamaican Alumni Associations; West Portland Member of Parliament, Hon. Daryl Vaz; the Project for the Advancement of Childhood Education (PACE) Canada, and Carlong Publishers.

Acting Director of Regulation and Monitoring at the ECC, Norda Seymour-Hall, told JIS News that responses from partners and stakeholders have been significant.

“We are very grateful for the level of support we have received, so far, from partner organisations and individuals with an interest in the growth and development of our young children,” she said.

Mrs. Seymour-Hall noted that, to date, 19 early-childhood institutions have been certified by meeting the required legal standards, and that the ECC has set a target for 100 to be certified by August 2017.

Under the law, all ECIs must be registered with the ECC to operate in Jamaica. The Early Childhood Act – Regulations (2005) outlines the requirements for setting up an early-childhood institution.

According to Mrs. Seymour-Hall, other organisations, such as the Jamaica Public Service Foundation, Sandals Foundation, Rockhouse Foundation, National Baking Company Foundation, One Jamaica Foundation, Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), Food For The Poor, Helping Hands, United Way of Jamaica, and Breds Treasure Beach Foundation, are currently working to build early-childhood institutions and/or provide educational support.

She said the ECC acknowledges everyone who has made individual contributions in cash or kind and is encouraging others to come on board to support the ECC’s efforts to develop other ECIs that are in need.

For further information, persons may visit the ECC’s website at: or call 922-9296. The ECC, an agency of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, coordinates all activities, development plans and programmes within the early-childhood sector.