Provision of Resources and Facilities in ECDE Centres in Mwea East Sub-County, Kirinyaga County, Kenya
Kirembu, Lucy W.
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Early childhood Development Education is an important aspect of basic education that lays a sound foundation for primary education and personality development which can make all the difference in the child's future. The history of Early Childhood Development dates back to ancient times with Egyptians, Greeks and Romans before introduction of formal education in Kenya. In Kenya, great deal has been achieved in Early Childhood Development through involvement of various community agents like Ministry of Education, development partners, religious organizations and parents' organizations. This is in line with global requirements for child holistic development as stipulated in United Nations Conventions on the rights of children and African charter. The purpose of the study was to investigate the level of community involvement in the provision of school resources in ECDE centres. The study objectives were to establish availability of learning resources, find out the physical conditions of the resources in the ECDE centres, establish the agents involved and to determine the role of the community in provision of school resources in ECDE centres. The study was guided by Bronfernbrenner Ecological Theory on the interaction of children and immediate environment the Rights and welfare of the child. The study adopted descriptive research design. It was carried out in Mwea East Sub-County, Kirinyaga County. Data was collected from a sampled population selected using a stratified random sampling technique from Mwea East Sub-County. It consisted of 20 teachers and 60 parents. The data collection instruments were questionnaires and observation schedules. Validity and Reliability was established through scrutinizing of the instruments by researcher and research supervisors as well as through a pilot test in 3 schools not included in the study sample. Data collected was then coded and analysed descriptively using statistical package of social sciences and presented in tables. The study established that provision of quality early childhood education is faced with a number of challenges, key among them shortage of funds and negative attitude of the community towards provision of resources in early childhood education. The resources and facilities available included colours, picture books, pencils, crayons, counters, exercise books, charts, furniture, kitchens, playgrounds, classrooms and toilets. The agents involved in the provision of resources in the ECDE centres included the county government, parents, teachers, community, NGOs and churches. The parents and the community participated in donating instructional materials, organizing fundraising, initiating income generating projects, organizing academic days, supporting feeding programmes and providing the basic needs to the children. The study recommends that community should be sensitized on the importance of learning resources in children learning. All stakeholders in the education sector should come up with modalities of ensuring that there is adequate provision or resources in ECDE centres.