I NEED A STRONG FOUNDATION, SUPPORT ECD FOR ME

By Constance Ndeleko 

Earl Childhood Development (ECD) refers to the physical cognitive, linguistic and socio-emotional development of a child from the parental stage up to the age of eight. Early years of life are a window of opportunity to lay a strong foundation for a child’s future life

Early childhood education in Kenya serves the critical drive of preparing young children for primary education. It is the base foundation and an anchor that plays a very pivotal role in a child’s future. Every child should be allowed access to basic education as it will change their whole lives and if not we will fail as a society if we don’t this serious and into consideration.

At the ECD Network for Kenya stakeholders conference we converged to ensure we fully represent the needs of the child to be understood, listened to and taken care of so as they can get the privilege of getting basic education regardless of their social class, geographic location or tribe.

Early Childhood Development (ECD) in Kenya concerns the holistic development of children between 0+and 5+years old which is the most critical stage of a child in growth and development of a functioning brain which tends to be super imperative and needs total attention for a child’s whole future

Parents’ understanding of ECD is also largely focused on children’s early acquisition of

learning skills which is a very vital stage and parents should not be resentful in sending their children to the ECD centers.

The ECD teachers should also be well equipped with adequate knowledge of this transitioning process and curriculum as well as enough learning materials to oversee this learning process and ensure that children at this level get the best education out of it.

The constitution states that the county government has authority over Pre-primary education, village polytechnics, home craft centers and childcare facilities. Section 26 of the Act describes the role of the County as providing funds for infrastructure for ECD, childcare facilities, polytechnics, and so on. Even though there are some contradictions on the Bill I believe they are working on amending them to ensure roles and duties are laid out in a define manner to have a reliable functioning work board for a better child education prospect.

There’s need to facilitate a total of 73.6 million for early childhood development on the 2017/2018 financial year thus every child has the right to basic education. The county government is expected to cater for food, fuel and sanitation.

Early Childhood Development focuses on integrated curriculum, vibrant learning environment, teaching professional development and community engagement to support learning. Learners in public ECDE centers receives 3200 each per year while those with special needs receives 3300 each per year for support of a holistic child development.

Since then, there has been a massive increment on enrolment of children at the ECD level in Kenya from 39,500 units in 2011 to over 41,300 with highest increase in public owned centers. The centers are child friendly designed to promote basic child rights to the greatest extent for child development.

All children deserve access to high quality, stimulating development appropriate for early childhood care and education. Children should and must be allowed to live safe and stable lives, free from abuse and violence thus protecting children’s right is essential to ensure all rights are protected.

Under the 2001 Children’s Act, the government established guiding policies for early childhood education in Kenya. These guidelines addressed the following areas:

(1)meeting children’s needs holistically to maximize the realization of their full potential; (2) safeguarding the rights of the child; (3) ensuring programs are child centered by recognizing that children are active participants and learners in shaping the events that influence their lives; (4) appreciating and recognizing parents and families as the primary caregivers and health providers of their children, and hence empowering and supporting them in their role; and (5) supporting and strengthening community-based management of early childhood services for sustainable development . Additionally, the provisions of the 2001 Children’s Act addressed issues that affected marginalized children and those with additional needs. Thus, the passing of the 2001 Children’s Act allowed children from different backgrounds to access early childhood education and revision of the Basic Education Bill 2014.

All children deserve access to high quality, stimulating development appropriate for early childhood care and education. Children should and must be allowed to live safe and stable lives, free from abuse and violence thus protecting children’s right is essential to ensure all rights are protected.

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