Factors influencing parents and community involvement in Early Childhood Educational programmes in Makueni District, Makueni County-Kenya
Mutiso, Fredrick B N
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The study sought to establish the factors that influence the parents and the community , involvement in Early Childhood Educational Programs in Makueni District, Makueni County. The main study objective was to establish factors that influence parents and community involvement in early childhood education programmes in Makueni District. Data for this study was drawn from respondents random sampled from the entire population in the district. The respondents included Head teachers, Pre School teachers, parents, members of the community and the children. Parents and the community participation in early childhood educational programmes was used to asses the association between independent variables and each of the explanatory variables. The study was confined to 128 children random sampled from different homes within the community. 80 parents, 20 teachers (10 from primary schools and 10 preschool teachers). The variables used in the study included: Socio economic, sociocultural and bio demographic factors. Results obtained from the parents and community participation in early childhood educational programme activity tables indicates that majority them do not take part in early childhood educational programmes. It is evident from the findings that the parents wealth index their level of education, the marital status and age of the members of the community were significantly associated with the way they participate in early childhood programmes. However, the parents' type of place of residence though associated with the way they take part in early childhood development was formed not significantly associated with their involvement in these programmes. The results of this study support the factor that, members from households with highest economic standards (richest) did not involve themselves in early childhood programmes as it was expected. In addition programmes which were started in areas with many educated residents like urban areas did not thrive well compared to those done in semiarid and arid areas. There were also age differentials in participation of the community m early childhood programmes with the young parents less concerned and the above 50 years members claiming that the youth should take charge from them. The main policy implication of this study includes the empowerment of women through education formal education of the rural members of the community is critically important to the promotion of child health and disease prevention. There is need also to develop effective health policies and feeding programmes that will ensure that the members of the public and the private sector are incorporated to participate in early childhood educational programmes so as to safe guard the rights of these young children.