Minister of State in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, Floyd Green, says the Parenting Education Project will be expanded to reach more parents across the island.
The initiative, which is currently in six parishes, aims to promote positive parenting practices and family management skills among parents and caregivers of children, ages two to six, who are beneficiaries under the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
Green, in a speech delivered by Education Officer for Region Four, Patricia Mumby Lalor, at the graduation ceremony for project participants in St. James on November 22, said that “come 2019 we will be expanding the intervention into seven new parishes.”
“We will continue to work with our stakeholders to provide information and support to parents including those with children with special needs,” he noted.
Green hailed the initiative, being undertaken through funding from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), for putting the spotlight on the need for good parenting in the nation’s homes.
He encouraged the beneficiaries to use the training to instill positive habits in their children and “spread the learning you have gained to your communities.”
“You now have the social skills to help others to be better parents. If you spread the word, all the children in the communities will be helped and the communities will be transformed,” he pointed out.
“You have been given this opportunity to participate in a very worthwhile initiative. The home is the first place where children learn good values, attitudes and behaviour. Parents play a vital role in their children’s development and we encourage you to use the knowledge gained from the parenting education programme to guide how you raise and care for your children,” he added.
Green further appealed for more fathers to participate in their children’s lives, noting that the quality of interaction will go a long way in making the home a safer and happier place.
“What is important is to build strong bonds with our children…even something as simple as changing a diaper. Simple acts like these can develop a great relationship between child and parents,” he said.
Approximately 96 households in 10 communities in St. James were engaged under the Parenting Education Project, which involved collaboration with the National Parenting Support Commission (NPSC).
Graduates hailed from Anchovy, Garlands, Glendevon, Hopeton, Roehampton, Rose Heights, Sunderland, Norwood, Montpelier and Lottery.
Over the six-month training period the participants attended workshops focused on nutrition, discipline, safety, learning, and health needs. The information shared at the workshops will be reinforced through home visits.
More than 900 families across the six targeted parishes have benefited from the intervention, which started in 2016.