FACTORS INFLUENCING ENROLMENT OF CHILDREN IN EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT (ECD) CENTRES. LESSONS FROM ST TERESA ECD CENTER IN LILONGWE CITY
Journal of Global Research in Education and Social Science,
Malawi has seen an increase in the number of Early Childhood Development (ECD) activities since 1950. With time, the country has seen high growth of ECD centres and communities and churches have opened their centres as well. One such church is Roman Catholic which has opened St. Teresa ECD Center in Lilongwe under Teresian Sisters. However, the centre which has almost every infrastructure been poorly patronized. This study was therefore conducted to assess factors leading to the low enrolment of children at this centre. The study used mixed methods where both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analyzed using SPSS and qualitative data was manually analyzed by grouping them into themes to establish common trends. Quantitative data was collected from parents with children enrolled in pre-school and parents with children not enrolled in pre-school. While qualitative data was collected from caregivers, school management committee members and other stakeholders. The results show that 41% of the parents do not send their children because they cannot afford to pay the fees. While 24% showed a lack of interest in their children attending ECD activities. Over 40% indicated that they could not afford to send their children because they do not have food to give their children as they to the Centre. It can be concluded that the low enrolment in ECD Centres around these areas is because of a larger lack of interest for parents to send their children. In addition, many parents in this area have a perception of free things hence they were not ready to invest cash for their children.
- Early childhood development
- community based child centres
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