Parents to Benefit from New Stimulation Program

Basseterre, St. Kitts (SKNIS) — The Ministry of Education along with, the Ministry of Health and the Early Childhood Development Unit have established an Effective Early Childhood Health Outreach Stimulation (ECHOS) Programme that is expected to help empower parents.

The program caters specifically to parents of newborns to children three years of age. It is also gear towards parents whose children are malnourished, under weight, who had caesarean sections, low income parents and parents with children with disabilities.

The purpose of the intervention programme is to address “the persistent problems that exists in our nation as it pertains to families and parenting,” said ECHOS Coordinator June Wallace.

“The ECHOS Programme is an intervention that will restructure the way we do parenting,” she noted. “It will be a more personalised and individualised way of working with parents. It is culturally specific and caters to the beliefs, values, expectations and environs of the families.”

She added that the program is a holistic program that helps parents to understand their children’s rights, protection, their cognitive and psychological development in a social environment needs.

Director for Early Childhood Development Jacqueline Morris stated that the programme fits into their determination to improve and increase quality programming for children in their early years.

“It is one of the many programmes that we have employed,” Mrs. Morris noted. “It is strategic and timely. It was taken to reach out to parents so that even at home the stimulation can be intensified because parents are children’s primary care givers. We believe that this programme, once it is implemented efficiently and effectively across St. Kitts and Nevis can transform parenting practices when it comes to early stimulation.”

The programme will be driven by the community health nurses since they are in a strategic position to lead and establish a programme of this nature.

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