Tuesday, February 11, 2014
The World Bank Group says 300,000 Jamaican children will benefit from a loan from its International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) for improved early childhood development services.
On Wednesday, the Washington-based financial institution said the loan ? the amount of which was not disclosed ? will enable about 75 percent of all Jamaican children to enroll in authorized Early Childhood Institutions that meet health and safety standards.
The bank also said every child will have a ?Child Health and Development Passport? that tracks their health and development milestones, and help identify children who require special services.
The Bank noted that Jamaica?s comprehensive National Strategic Plan on early childhood development is the first of its kind in the region.
Compared to other countries, such as Chile and Colombia, the World Bank said ?Jamaica guarantees free preprimary education and has the highest proportion of children enrolled in preschool.?
?More investment in young lives at an early age can make a huge difference in generating success in adulthood,? said Sophie Sirtaine, World Bank country director for the Caribbean.