The Juliet Griffith Day Care Centre, also known as the “Police Day Care Centre”, located at the Police Officers’ Mess, Eve Leary, was established on October 3, 1994, an initiative of the late Juliet Griffith, who was the wife of a senior officer in Berbice.
It is currently being governed by the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and caters for the children of police officers between the ages of one year 6 months to five years.
According to Mrs. Marsha Vyphuis, chairperson of the Guyana Police Wives’ Association, the Day Care Centre recognises the development of policemen’s children as a priority, simultaneously assisting in the improvement of the Kingston/Cummingsburg area of Georgetown.
Kaieteur News was told that the centre was formed with 16 children, 11 staff members (this included police ranks and civilian personnel) and two cooks, There was an admission fee of $600 per child.
Over the years, this centre has continued to serve a larger number of policemen’s children.
Currently, there are 89 children enrolled at the Juliet Griffith Day Care Centre, 10 staff members, termed as “caregivers”, two cooks and one supervisor and parents are required to pay an admission fee of $2,000 per child.
Mrs. Vyphuis stated that meals for the children are provided by the institution which falls under the care of the GPF and parents are just asked to send supplies of toiletries for their child/ children.
The centre also caters for children who may be enrolled in another school, but in many cases, the hours that the schools dismiss are too early for the officers’ families to take them home, so they are often enrolled also at the centre to ensure that the children are taken care of until it is a convenient time for the parents.
When Kaieteur News visited the Day Care Centre on Thursday, the children were having an afternoon snack, while some were peacefully asleep. Some of the caregivers were attending to the children at the eating table, while others were assisting in getting the little ones nice and tidy.
For a number of years, the Juliet Griffith Day Care Centre has “eased the burden” of police officers and their families by providing a safe and reliable day care centre which proves to be very cheaper than other alternatives.
With the salary of the police officers being so meager and given the long, extensive hours which they are called to serve, there are limits to the time they have to take care of their family and the little children.
They have surely welcomed such an initiative which they can actually afford.
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