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Early Childhood Development Program with a 20-year record of success in Jamaica to be Presented at the IDB Sept. 29

Home visits and parental participation are key to Reach Up and Learn, whose materials are being made available worldwide

Reach Up and Learn, an early childhood development program implemented over the past 20 years in Jamaica that has had a significant impact on education and workplace outcomes, will be presented at an event at the Inter-American Development Bank I (IDB) on Sept. 29.

Representatives of the Jamaican Home Visits Programme will provide information on the methodology of “Reach Up: An early childhood parenting program” and following the launch are making a toolkit and other digital materials available to governments, non-government organizations, child care centers and teachers who may be interested at the Reach Up and Learn website.

Extensive evidence from the program has shown that the children that participated in the program 20 years ago not only did better in school but also were showed to be happier. As adults, children who had participated in the program had higher IQs, better mental health and demonstrated less violent behaviour. They also earned more money than similar children who did not benefit from the program as shown in a Science article by the Economics Nobel Prize winner James Heckman.

The program consists of home visits by trained practitioners who teach parents how to use the materials to teach their children; play activities using low cost toys made of recyclable materials; guidelines that take into account cultural differences to ensure that the toys, games and other educational activities are relevant to the children. The Reach Up toolkit includes a weekly curriculum for children 6 months to 42 months old; training manual with demonstration videos that were filmed in Jamaica, Peru and Bangladesh; and a planning manual that helps countries tailor the program to fit their specific needs.

In addition to Jamaica, the Reach Up and Learn program has been implemented in Bangladesh, India, Brazil, Madagascar and Peru. There are also plans to implement it in Guatemala, China and Zimbabwe.

What: Presentation of Jamaica’s Parent-Assisted Early Childhood Education Program
When: Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Where: Inter-American Development Bank, 130 New York Ave NW, Salon Andres Bello 4/5

Those who wish to follow the event via Livestream can do so via these links, in ENGLISH or ESPAÑOL

News media wishing to attend the event should contact Mildred Rivera, mildredr@iadb.org (202) 623-2319