Pre-school children in Jamaica are spread among 2,676 Early Childhood Institutions. There is a low share of public provision of Early Childhood Education through government-run schools, and only 20% attend public Infant Schools.

Community-operated Basic Schools and private Kindergartens account for 80% of the enrollment at the Early Childhood level, which are mainly financed through tuition fees and non-government support.

All Jamaica’s Early Childhood Institutions are supervised by the Early Childhood Commission (ECC). As promoters of literacy and numeracy, ECC officials experience first-hand the constant challenges schools faced by Principals and teachers due to the lack of books and materials.

According to the “The Reform of Education” Report, only 11% of Early Childhood Institutions (ECI) have enough materials for all the children to be engaged in an activity at the same time. The report highlights a notable lack of books available per child and insufficient resources available for mathematics and science. 

  • 56.8% of children in Jamaican ECI’s fall below the standard of exposure to creative development.
  • 30.9% fall below the standard of exposure to early reading skills.
  • 46.6% fall below the standard of exposure to early mathematical skills.
  • 82.5% fall below the standard of exposure to scientific activities.
  • 67.8% fall below the standard of exposure to technology and language development.

About Books4Kids Jamaica

Ragni Trotta is a Board Member of Books4Kids Jamaica. Addressing an urgent and critical need, The Books4Kids Jamaica program is an Early Childhood Education (ECE) community initiative which seeks to preserve each child’s right to education through the continued provision of physical book and educational materials. Under the slogan “The future is bright, when you can read and write!,” 4 and 5 year old children receive an individual book bag containing a 360-page Brain Quest Workbook, a reading book, a pack of crayons and a pencil. The Brain Quest Workbook provides enough curriculum for an entire school year and many schools use it as their primary educational tool. Since 2007, the initiative has supplied over 300,000 books and materials to 100,000 children in 150 schools across Jamaica. With no government support, it is a community project that involves hundreds of sponsors, volunteers, principals, teachers and government officials in fundraising and distribution efforts every year.


“The Reform of Education” Report, The Jamaican Education Transformation Commission (2021)
UNICEF (2021, 2022)
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) (2021)
The Bank of Jamaica (2010, 2014, 2021)
The Inter-American Development Bank (2014)

United Nations – Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) (2021)

The Planning Institute of Jamaica, Department of Economics, University of the West Indies (2009)

The World Bank Group (2011, 2020, 2021)

The Jamaica, Gleaner (2021, 2022)
The Jamaica Observer (2021)

Annual Report written by: Ragni Trotta

Cover photo: Ragni Trotta