Community Support Grants Management and Implementation in Early Childhood Education Centres in Magutuni, Tharaka-Nithi County, Kenya
Gitonga, Hellen Mugure
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The Government of Kenya recognizes the importance of Early Childhood Development, as one of the most important levers for accelerating the attainment of Education for All (EFA) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). There has been tremendous effort by the Government of Kenya (GOK) and collaborating partners to improve the welfare of the Kenyan child through various funding programmes, for instance, community support grants. However, these efforts have been fragmented and with little impact especially on management and implementation process. In realization, an effective ECD programme enhances a country’s social economic growth and political stability, the Government, through the Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2005, A Policy Framework on funding Education, Training and Research are recommended. This study investigated into management and implementation of community support grants in ECE centres in Magutuni location, Tharaka Nithi County. Kenya, it examined methods and sources of CSG funding, established the management of CSG, find out challenges facing management and implementation of CSG, it also suggested mitigation measures to the identified challenges. The study is based on the theory advanced by Henry Fayol. The findings will be used address the identified gaps on the government mode of funding and management of ECE within the study location and in the country as a whole. The study target population of 911, which has been narrowed down to a sample size of 141 through random sampling. The questioners were used as research instrument for collecting data in study. The instruments were pre-tested in Eight ECE centers that were not included in the actual study to check its reliability and validity. Eight School managers participated, 10 teachers, 20 parents, one DICECE officer and one DEO. Thus, the obtained data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The study finds out that; bursaries from the government are the main source of government community grants, the decision on how to use the grant was made by the school management committee, the challenges that are faced in management and implementation of community support grants were; there is a delay in disbursement of the funds, corruption and misuse of funds, diversion of the funds to primary school and inattendance of parents to discussion on how the funds will be used. The study concluded that little funds were allocated to ECE centres and it was managed poorly. The study recommended that; the CSG should be channelled to ECE centres using the proper means of allocation to avoid funds diversion and funds should be adequate. The District Education Officer and the DICECE officer should enhance measures that will ensure all funds are well managed and implemented.