Recognition of the important role that good nutrition plays in the development of cognitive capabilities, such as learning and problem solving among children under five years old, prompted the CHASE Fund to assist the Early Childhood Commission in 2006 as it embarked on a pilot study involving more than 1,000 children from 24 basic schools in St. Mary.
Data gathered from the four-month study guided the design of the National Early Childhood School Feeding Programme. A J$15 million grant from CHASE facilitated preparations for the pilot study. These included the purchase of freezers; stoves and other equipment for participating schools, as well as the development of food service standards; recipes; menus and project evaluation.
Chairman of the Early Childhood Commission, Professor Maureen Samms-Vaughan, says that achieving sustainable development was a major programme objective and, to this end, nutrition training for stakeholders in the Early Childhood system and the wider community was among the highlights of the programme.