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Preparing for back-to-school expenses Tight money B management is a

EFORE ANY parent embarks on any back-toschool activity, the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is recommending that parents first sit down and make a workable plan towards a backto-school period that is as stress free as possible.


Before going out to shop, you must decide how much you can afford to spend and what are the most important items that your child MUST have for the very first couple of weeks of school. Give yourself some breathing room to make the shopping exercise feasible. Prioritise and purchase items as they are needed. For parents with children about to attend school for the first time or older children about to enter a new grade or a new school, budgeting lessons should BEGIN immediately. The commission is encouraging parents to stay calm and ask questions if they are unsure about the information they receive from the schools. Tight money management is a reality. Some parents have been relieved of tuition fees, but many parents are still faced with preparatory school and tertiary training fees for their children. Spend time to analyse your financial situation, to determine where to source the funds. Visit the schools early – this week – and talk to the bursar about deferring payments or signing an agreement for a special payment schedule that you can meet. Stick to them. Your reputation, your child’s peace of mind and yours are paramount. Second, make some provision to find school items at the best prices and identify the things that can be postponed until the next month or term, in order to minimise overextending yourselves physically and financially.


When a child is registered for a new school, the parent is usually supplied with a book list as well as a list of other needed supplies, including the uniform style, fabric type and colour, and other accessories needed for the school uniform, for example, ties, belts, badges, etc; gears for physical education; the amount to be paid for school fees or auxiliary fees, as well as the due dates and where to pay. Parents are encouraged to make a list or lists of what is available at the school on rental, on sale or at no cost. Adjust your budget accordingly. Ask a lot of questions, especially when things are not expressly stated or outlined in any document provided by the child’s school. Develop a close relationship with the child’s form teacher, the school’s guidance counsellor and the principal, and try to participate in your parent teachers’ association meetings and events. Track your child’s weekly academic and behavioural progress. Experiencing unusual financial difficulty? Find out about some of the social assistance such as the PATH programme. School officials will offer advice as to what options are available, whether under the school or a government programme. Seek advice from other

reality. Some parents have been relieved of tuition fees, but many parents are still faced with preparatory school and tertiary training fees for their children. parents you know whose child may have attended or attends the same school. This may result in a further benefit, such as the offering of second-hand books and supplies.




Buying school shoes for children OING BACK to school for this term means purchasing new books, uniforms and, more than likely, new shoes. Parents often find it difficult to keep up with the growing feet of their children, as they have to keep buying new pairs when the old ones are worn out. However, growth will continue and new shoes will have to be bought, so here are a few tips to help you purchase the right school shoes for your child. John Walter, DPM, a podiatrist at Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, says that, because children’s feet continue to grow and develop into the teen years, good, supportive shoes are critical for foot health. He offers the following tips when shopping for children’s shoes. n Because of growth spurts, especially over the summer; children’s shoes should be checked every four to six months for proper fit. You can tell your child has outgrown a shoe when it’s harder to put on or walking is painful. n Look for sturdy shoes with good heel strength and support that will withstand the wear and tear of childhood. n Make sure the shoe fits properly. There should be a thumb’s width between the end of the big toe and the end of the shoe. n The shoe has to be the proper length AND width. You can get greater width with greater length. Also, shoes can be


The importance of a receipt

stretched. by a shoe tree or shoe maker. n The suggestion to buy shoes in the afternoon or evening, when the feet have swollen, applies to children as well as adults. n Try shoes on with a good supportive sock, such as cotton, which is important for a bit of cushion and absorption of moisture. It is important, too, to take stock of what you already have before rushing out to buy new shoes. Go through your child’s closet and get rid of anything that is hopelessly outdated, damaged, or outgrown. A good rule of thumb is that it has not been worn in six months or more; it is probably time to let it go. By doing this, you can assess whether it is necessary to buy new shoes right away or wait a few more months. Determine which shoe styles your child will need for school. Chances are, you will need

to purchase new sneakers, dress shoes, and casual shoes at the very minimum. Take care not to overspend on ultra-trendy shoes and go for basic, comfortable shoes. Take care to know your child’s shoe size. One of the most important steps to take before shopping for back-to-school shoes is to check shoe size. Don’t ever buy a child’s shoes without having him try them on and walking around in them for a few minutes. Take the time to check out sales. Buying shoes on summer clearance is a great way to save money on your back-to-school budget. Department stores often have great deals on end-of-season clearance sales, while other stores have a steady supply of excellent buys. Shoe shopping is timely, but with a little planning and helpful tips, you can make it less strenuous for both you and your child.

THE CONSUMER Affairs Commission (CAC) again brings attention to the importance of getting a receipt after every business transaction. Often times, concerns and complaints from the public are referred to the CAC, in which goods or services have been paid for, usually with cash, and the quality of the product dissatisfies the consumer. Unfortunately, when asked: “Do you have a receipt or any acceptable proof of purchase?” for many persons, the answer continues to be no! Here are some tips about receipts and good reasons for you to receive and store them safely:


A receipt may be defined as a written acknowledgement of the payment of money for a commodity. It is, therefore, important to both consumer and vendor.


The consumer is entitled to fair settlements of just claims. Your receipt provides proof of purchase/payment – without it, you will have difficulty claiming.


Many vendors issue receipts which only have the value of

the good and no other detail. This is not sufficient information to protect you. In today’s world of commerce, there are certain other characteristics that are important, apart from recording the amount of money paid. The presence of following features constitutes a ‘good receipt’: 1. The name of the vendor or business where the commodity has been purchased. Unscrupulous business persons can easily deny a receipt that does not provide this information. 2. The correct description of the item(s) purchased. It provides protection for both the consumer and the vendor, as there is a record of what was purchased and the cost. This is even more important when several items are purchased and the consumer is challenging one or more specific items and not the entire set of goods paid for. 3. Unique information about the vendor, information such as GCT Registration Number, specific address (especially when goods are purchased from businesses with many outlets or branches). 4. Protection for the vendor as

well as the consumer if any dispute arises.


n Always get a receipt, especially when you pay or deposit large sums of money. Persons have been known to pay as much as $300,000 in cash for the purchase of a motor vehicle without obtaining a receipt. If the unit is not delivered, you will not have proof that a transaction was entered into, so protect yourself! n Check your receipt and make sure it itemises the correct quantity, size and description of the good or service paid for. n Some supermarket and most ABM receipts are issued on fax paper, the print of which fades quickly. Until the practice is revised, a useful practice would be to photocopy them. n Some receipts have fading ink. Look out for these and, if the information is pale and unreadable, point it out to the vendor and have them replace the ink cartridge and reprint your receipt. Be vigilant and assertive about protecting your rights. Demand a ‘good receipt’, keep it safe ... self protection is the key to exercising your consumer power!





It’s backto-school time! ARENTS AND teachers islandwide are preparing for the upcoming school year purchasing school supplies and apparel. Avoid the hassle and shop online from unlimited suppliers and let TARA USA do the rest. TARA USA enables you to order online and have your packages shipped, cleared, and delivered via Tara Courier Services Limited. TARA USA has easy registration, competitive rates, and NO ANNUAL FEE. With two flights weekly from Florida, all you need to do is send your packages to the US address provided by us and TARA USA will deliver to your doorstep. For customers who do not have access to an international credit card, use the TARA USA Credit Card! Weekly sea freight shipments are available for those larger items that cannot go by air. Simply: ‘YOU SHOP. WE SHIP!’ Customers are allowed two additional members, who may also place online orders on their account! Need help budgeting? Give us a call. We will advise you regarding the estimated landed cost for your items before they leave the US. Have your friends or relatives overseas send you school supplies and gifts to the TARA USA address and trust Tara Courier Services Limited, Jamaica’s number one courier service, to deliver islandwide. Going the Extra Mile for 29 years! 1-888TARACAN.


A typical Kidzblock signature: Cornrow rope twist for school.

This is our Kidzblock Summer Special: Rope twist and cornrow with beads.

Kidzblock customer sporting a flat iron. This is typical for graduation or formal function without chemicals.

Tips and recipes for easy, kid-friendly breakfasts GETTING KIDS to eat a healthy breakfast can be a next-to-impossible task. Depending on their ages and morning moods, we might be lucky to get a glass of instant breakfast drink into our kids before they are out the door. No matter what their ages, it can be a real chore to lure kids to the breakfast table! Kids going to school need breakfast but often balk at the thought of eating in their morning rush out the door. Kids really want to do their best! Let your kids know why breakfast is important, and how it will make a difference in how they do in school. Ask them to take part in the grocery shopping or help with the shopping list.


n Give them eggs – Eggs are versatile and nutritious, plus most kids like them. Start their day with simple scrambled eggs. You can add a little chopped ham, cheese, chopped tomatoes, or sausages. Boiled eggs with slices of toast will do well, too. n Bake-ahead muffins – Muffins aren’t always the most nutritious meal, but if you bake your own muffins, you can use mashed banana and a little honey for a naturally sweet breakfast muffin. You can also replace half of the amount of white flour for healthier whole-wheat flour. And don’t just stick to sweet muffins. Try a savoury bacon muffin or cheese

and ham. Bake them the night before for a quick and healthy breakfast. n Don’t forget the fruit – Try a fresh fruit salad with yoghurt. Simply cut up your children’s favourite fruits in a bowl and spread some yoghurt on the top or put in a separate bowl for your children to dip the fruits. n Pancakes in a flash – Prepare a basic pancake batter the night before, cover and refrigerate. In the morning, all you need to do is heat the frying pan or grill and your whole family can enjoy delicious homemade pancakes. Serve with a little maple syrup or jam and some fresh fruit on the side. Source: a b o u t . c o m




Importance of vitamins for children CHILDREN NEED a balance of all nutrients for healthy growth and development. Seven Seas Haliborange & Minadex range of products are leading experts in children’s health providing the widest range of great-tasting health supplements to give children the best head start in life.


n Delicious orange flavour chewable vitamin C tablets.

n Helps maintain natural defenses against infections such as cold and flu. n Vitamin C cannot be stored by the body so regular intake is required. n Suitable for children three years and over. Sugar Free Haliborange Multivitamin Liquid n Delicious natural orange flavour multivitamin liquid n Contains vitamins A,B,C,D, & E n Provides a strong start in life Free from: n Sugar n Artificial sweeteners n Artificial flavours n Artificial colours. Seven Seas builds health naturally!

Sleep in school-aged children 6-12 years CHOOL-AGED CHILDREN need between 10 and 11 hours of sleep per night. Not getting enough sleep is common in this age group given increasing school obligations such as homework and evening activities. Sleep problems are also common in school-aged children. They include sleepwalking, sleep terrors, teeth grinding, nighttime fears, snoring, and noisy breathing. Signs of sleep deprivation in school-aged children can include: n Mood – Sleep deprivation may cause your school-aged child to be moody, irritable, and cranky. In addition, he may have a difficult time regulating his mood such as by getting frustrated or upset more easily. n Behaviour – School-aged children who do not get enough sleep are more likely to have behaviour problems such as non-compliance and hyperactivity. n Cognitive ability – Inadequate sleep may result in problems with attention, memory, decision making, reaction time, and creativity, all of which are important in school.



n D e v e l o p a r e g u l a r s l e e p s c h e d u l e – Your child should go to bed and wake up at about the same time each day.

n Maintain a consistent bedtime routine – School-aged children continue to benefit from a bedtime routine that is the same every night and includes calm and enjoyable activities. Including one-on-one time with a parent is helpful in maintaining communication with your child and having a clear connection every day. n Set up a soothing sleep environment – Make sure your child’s bedroom is comfortable, dark, cool, and quiet. A nightlight is fine; a television is not. n S e t l i m i t s – If your school-aged child stalls at bedtime, be sure to set clear limits such as what time lights must be turned off and how many bedtime stories you will read. n Turn off televisions, computers, and r a d i o s – Television viewing, computer-game playing, internet use, and other stimulating activities at bedtime will cause sleep problems. n A v o i d c a f f e i n e – Caffeine can be found in sodas, coffee-based products, iced tea, and many other substances. n C o n t a c t y o u r c h i l d ’ s d o c t o r – Speak to your child’s physician if your child has difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, snores, experiences unusual awakenings, or has sleep problems that are causing disruptions during the day.




Shop in comfort and style E STOCK a wide variety of school supplies from uniforms, including khaki pants, khaki shirts, white shirts for boys and blouses for the girls, a variety of socks in different colours that will match your uniform, to exercise books and school bags in all sizes and colours. Shop in comfort and style from the moment you walk in, to the time you leave. Our climate control will keep you cool! At your convenience we have secure parking for everyone. Come on in and shop with us, at Azan Supercentre ‘The Super Store for your Home and More’, the best choice for all your back-toschool needs. 15 Old Hope Road (Regal Plaza), 38 South Parade, downtown Kingston 62A King Street, Linstead Air Hill district, Junction, St Elizabeth


Make UWI Credit Union your choice GIVE YOURSELF the advantage with a UWI Credit Union Choice Advantage Education Loan. Apply for a Choice Advantage Education Loan from UWI Credit Union to finance primary, secondary or tertiary-level educational expenses, professional development, certification or re-certification programmes, advanced training or postgraduate degree work. It can be used to cover the cost of books, tuition and other related fees. The secured option allows members to borrow a maximum of $5m or a minimum of $100,000 at an attractive interest rate of 9.98% pa on the

reducing balance. The loan repayment period is four years with payments being accepted through salary deductions only. An unsecured option is also available to members who may borrow a minimum of $15,000 or up to a maximum of $100,000 at an interest rate of 19.5% pa on the reducing balance. The Choice Advantage Education Loan can be accessed through the credit union’s head office on the Mona campus or its UTech branch. Call 9272211 or 977-4120 for eligibility and requirement details.





Back-to-school general health and safety tips THE CONSUMER Affairs Commission (CAC), in its education campaign, is encouraging parents to be thrifty consumers when shopping for back-to-school items. While our education programme focuses on budgeting and planning, the CAC is also concerned about the physical and mental well-being of both parents and children. As the new school year approaches, the commission is advising parents to cultivate positive attitudes towards their children with the aim of encouraging a sense of purpose, confidence, and honesty in them.


n Be sensitive to the anxieties of the child, especially those who will be going to school for the first time. Tell the child that this is a milestone that every child will eventually learn to enjoy. It is a time of numerous changes in the lives of both the child and the parent at a time of separation. Prepare the child (and yourself) for these changes and teach him or her how to cope.

A stress-free morning routine LET’S GO! Let’s go! Come on! You’re going to miss the bus! I don’t know where your school socks are; it’s not my responsibility. What do you mean you still have homework? Did you brush your teeth yet? Let’s go! I’m leaving ... NOW! It is hoped that your mornings don’t sound like that above. If they do, it’s not too late to turn that ship around. The key to having a stress-free morning routine is to have a smooth bedtime routine. Remember, a routine is something that is followed regularly. Without the consistency, you will have an uphill battle. Here are some tips to a stress-free morning routine: n No yelling. Raising your voice, albeit frustrated, is only going to escalate matters. n Early to bed, early to rise. That one is simple. n Look over all homework for completeness before bed; don’t assume it’s finished. n Before bed, ensure lunches are made or at least planned, backpack is packed, and there are no surprises. n Give singular instructions. Don’t say, “I want you to finish your homework, eat

breakfast, get dressed, comb your hair, brush your teeth and be in the car by 8:15.” To a child, that sounds like “blah, blah, blah”. One instruction at a time works wonders. n Provide instructions once. If you’re doing this, stop: “Johnny, it’s time to get dressed.” Two minutes later, “Johnny, we’re going to be late if you don’t get dressed now.” Two more minutes later, “Johnny, honey, I told you to get dressed.” “Johnny, Mommy is going to be late, now go get dressed.” To a child that sounds like “Oh, mom is good for asking about five more times before she really goes ballistic!” Repeated requests only send the message that Johnny doesn’t really have to do it now. n Set consequences and stick to your guns. If you tell your child the car is leaving at 8:15 sharp, make it happen. Clearly, you can’t leave your child behind, so leaving without her isn’t an option. Tell her you will be leaving whether she is ready or not. Sending a 10-year-old to school with uncombed hair might just be the catalyst for change. n You are the parent; you set the tone for the morning routine. You need to be actively involved in the morning routine.

n Encourage positive thoughts and attitudes towards school and the school environment. Visit the school and show the child the classroom if possible. Talk about recess and the prospect of making friends. n Have reasonable expectations of your children, bearing in mind their ability. Also remember that a new environment may change the performance of your child negatively or positively. Be ready to encourage, praise, and assist in reassuring your child that he or she is capable of great things – in time. n Help the child to get into a routine in preparation for school before the school year starts – getting to bed on time, familiarising himself with supplies, textbooks, etc. n Teach the child his home address (or at least the name of the community) and telephone number. Write these details in clothes, shoes, lunch pans, etc. Exchange cell numbers with his immediate teacher, the principal, guidance counselor, etc. n Remember eyes and ears are needed to capture the Information.

An eye examination may be one of the most beneficial checks to a child who may be having undetected vision problems. After hearing disorders, an undetected vision problem has been proved to be one of the leading causes of low performance among children in large classes. Have the attending physician do a thorough hearing test. It may cost you less heartache in the long run. Medical examinations prior to the new academic year will provide a healthy start for your child. Be mindful of the requirements for entrants. You may have to take the medical certificate or immunisation card on the first day of school. Parents should ensure that vaccinations are up to date or your child may not be allowed to attend school, according to a policy governed by the Ministry of Education.


How much do you know? In the upcoming school year, parents need to recognise the importance of Immunisation and how it can protect children against the following diseases: n Tetanus, also called lockjaw, is a painful disease that can cause death, especially in newborn babies. n Tuberculosis, or TB, commonly affects the lungs. It is very contagious but can be prevented. n Diphtheria is a dangerous and contagious disease that kills

many young children who have not been immunised against it. It starts in the throat and can prevent the child from breathing. n Whooping cough, which is called pertussis, affects babies under three months old. The cough causes the baby to make a “whooping” sound as he/she struggles to breath. n Measles is often thought to be a harmless childhood disease, but it can cause serious problems for a child. The illness is very contagious and is especially dangerous for children under five years old. n Poliomyelitis, commonly called polio, attacks the nervous system. Anyone who catches polio can be crippled for life, or can die from the disease. n Rubella, also called German measles, may cause death in an unborn child, mental retardation, loss of hearing or eyesight, as well as other birth defects. n Mumps is caused by a virus that affects the glands in the neck and causes painful swelling of the scrotum. The CAC urges parents to inform themselves about immunisation by asking questions such as: What will the vaccine do? What are the side effects, if any? How might your child be affected? Follow the instructions of the doctor and help to give your child a fighting chance against infectious diseases.