Day-Care Centers in Informal Settlements To Promote Early Childhood Education
This will allow more children to access early childhood learning.
The County government is collaborating with private organizations such as Kidogo Franchising, which has established a network of corporate-owned and franchised early childhood centers in Nakuru slums.
Women pruners have been trained on holistic curriculum, health and nutrition programs, and friendly spaces that can serve the local communities.
Bonface Wanjala, the Kidogo Franchising Coordinator in Nakuru, stated that by combining early childhood care and education with income generation for women, the enterprise was assisting in breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty among slum dwellers.
The venture, he added, was allowing children in informal settlements to gain access to early childhood learning in order to unlock their potential in adulthood, while caregiving mothers worked.
Wanjala stated that they had trained women pruners in the Kaptembwo slums, who were now running day-care centers under the supervision of the organization.
They also get the assistance of the County’s Department of Health, which visits the center to monitor sanitation and other health-related issues.
He added that the program had given more children access to early childhood learning, as well as improved baby health and nutrition through a robust feeding program and early detection of key health issues among young learners.
Wanjala noticed that daycare centers were increasingly becoming a refuge for slum mothers who couldn’t afford the high cost of hiring house helps as domestic workers became more aware of employment laws such as minimum wage, health care coverage, and other allowances.
“House helps have been enlightened on the minimum wages and rights, that makes most of the people in slums unable to afford to employ them,” said Wanjala.
“Availability of day-care centers which offer services at a friendly cost to slum dwellers, enable the locals to meet other family needs such as school fees, food, and shelter with ease,” said the coordinator.
The program ensures that all children at day-cares are registered, allowing Wanjala to conduct follow-ups to assess the health progress of the learners and to keep parents informed of their children’s progress.
Wanjala stated that they are looking forward to launching a ‘business in a box’ micro-franchising initiative that will allow local mothers, known as “mama pruners,” to establish new or formalize existing quality child-care centers in order to create a stable income.
He went on to say that the business in a box would assist “mama pruners” in starting or growing their own micro business using the micro-franchising model, allowing them to improve their economic potential and gain financial literacy skills.
The Child-Care Facilities Bill 2019 gives parents the right to know how their child will be disciplined and to receive a copy of the discipline policy upon enrolling their child.
Parents will now be able to visit the facility at any time while their child is there, and they will also be able to learn about the qualifications of caregivers.