Column: Simmons On Youth, Families & More

May 20, 2024 | 0 Comments

[Opinion column written by the PLP's Lindsay Simmons]

As a mother, I am truly grateful for our government’s ongoing work to support and uplift Bermudian families. Our latest initiative, impacting Summer Day Camps for 2024-2025, will provide a nurturing and enriching environment for our children while addressing a long-standing concern of parents struggling to find suitable summer activities for their children due to quickly filled registrations.

The annual Summer Day Camps will offer more spots, so that every child will have the opportunity to engage in fun, educational experiences while relieving parents of the stress and financial burden associated with summer childcare.

However, our dedication to Bermuda’s families does not stop here. This initiative is part of a broader effort to create a family-friendly environment that ensures the well-being and development of our youth.

Supporting Families and Reducing Cost Pressures

Understanding the financial pressures faced by too many Bermudian families, we introduced several measures to help ease these burdens.

We increased the Child Day Care Allowance, expanding eligibility and raising allowances to support more families making quality childcare more accessible to many.

Investing in Our Youth

Investing in, and supporting our youth is a top priority for our government. We have focused on increasing access to quality education and opportunities for personal development. The introduction of the Signature Schools at The Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy is a milestone in our education reform efforts with specialized programs covering Financial and Insurance Services, Health and Social Care, STEM, and Trades and Professions. All to prepare our students for successful careers in these fields and feedback from students has already been positive! .

We’ve also invested in enhancing resources and support for students supplying all public primary school students with Chromebooks and installing high-speed internet in schools to enhance digital learning. All to ensure that our students have the tools they need to succeed in the modern world.

Enhancing Safety and Well-being

Protecting Bermuda’s children is important to all of us. That’s why we strengthened laws to protect our youth from abuse and exploitation, including criminalizing luring and grooming and enacting legislation against revenge porn.

Our Gang Violence Reduction team continues to execute programs that address the root causes of violent crime, providing a safer environment for our children to grow up in.

Additionally, we have taken steps to support young people transitioning out of care. The Independent Living Programme provides life skills, peer support, and educational planning for those who have aged out of the care system. This ensures that our young people are ready to live on their own with the skills to make a positive contribution to Bermuda.

Building a Better Bermuda

Our efforts to support families and youth are part of a broader vision to build a better, fairer Bermuda. We have fought to reduce the cost of living, by eliminating import duties on essential goods and reducing payroll taxes for workers making less than $96,000 annually. All to ensure that Bermudian families have more money in their pockets to invest in their children’s futures.

The launch of the annual Summer Day Camps for 2024-2025 is yet another significant step in our mission to help and support Bermudian families. By providing enriching and fun activities for our children, we are helping to create a brighter future for all. This initiative, along with our other family-focused policies, demonstrates our dedication to ensuring that Bermuda is a place where every child can thrive and every family can succeed.

Together, we will continue to work towards a Bermuda that nurtures and supports its children, ensuring a prosperous and inclusive future for all..

- Senator Lindsay Simmons

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