One of the social causes I’m most passionate about is childhood development, and I support any initiative aimed at raising our youth in a safe, secure and nurturing environment. Being a parent myself, I also know how challenging raising a child, especially if you don’t have a network of experienced parents and trained professionals around you to guide in the right direction.
That is why I was excited to hear about the 1st 1000 Days smartphone app, developed by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC) in partnership with UNICEF, and graciously accepted the invitation to host its launch.
The 1st 1000 Days app is geared at helping parents and caregivers track their child’s development from pregnancy to 2 years old, and keep informed about the nature of the development that is taking place. The first 1,000 days are regarded as the most sensitive period in a child’s life, as it is marked by rapid brain development and accompanying vulnerability to deficiency in care. There are plans to expand the app’s scope to the first 3000 days, up to when the child is 8 years old.
There are so many things to love about this app. Not only does it leverage modern-day technology to deliver support in an innovative way – which allows for a wider reach, minimized cost and the opportunity for personalization – but much of the content also comes from local professionals who understand the lifestyle and challenges of a Jamaican parent, unlike books and online resources often geared at a US market.
What makes it even better is that the app was developed in Jamaica by Jamaicans! It makes me so proud to know that we have the talent and capabilities to built this technology and we are utilizing the skills within our country towards our nation’s growth.
I met some kids at the launch who really warmed my heart. They performed a piece for us as part of the event, and took the kitchen after to prepare us all a lovely meal. Talk about hardworking! Take a look at the photos below and you’ll see what I mean.