Influence of parental characteristics on enrolment of preschool children in Kuresoi Division, Nakuru County, Kenya
The purpose of this study was to find out the influence of parental characteristics on enrolment of preschool children in Kuresoi Division, Nakuru County, Kenya. The study's objectives were to establish the relationship between parental income and children enrolment in preschool, to establish the relationship between education level of the parent and enrolment of their children in preschool, to determine the relationship between household composition and children enrolment in preschool and to find out the influence of parental occupation on children enrolment in preschool. The study employed cross-sectional design, targeting parents with children who should be in preschool, head teachers and the area chief of Kuresoi Division in Kuresoi District. The researcher used snowball sampling to identify potential respondents in the study. The sample size comprised 100 parents with children who should have joined preschool. Documentary analysis was provided by the head-teachers showing preschool children enrolment. Interview schedule was used to collect information from parents while questionnaires were used for the head teachers' and the area chief. Reliability of the instrument was ensured by computing a reliability coefficient and validity was tested through a pilot study. The data was analysed using SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Sciences). The research utilized descriptive analysis and data was presented in form of tables, graphs and pie charts. Research findings would be valuable to the government and education policy makers as it will inform them and give them a basis of further study particularly in children enrolment in preschools, parents, teachers and all scholars interested in education and factors affecting preschool children enrolment. The study noted the following findings; parental income of the parents is low causing them not to be able to enroll their children to preschool. The education level of parents is too low for them to appreciate the importance of educating their preschool children. Family composition is an issue since a majority of them come from single and polygamous families that are not conducive for their learning. Polygamous families are unstable, thus the children lack adequate academic support. Majority of the parents are peasant farmers who get too little from their occupation to be able to support their children's preschool education and thus causing low enrolment in the district. This study concluded that there was need to improve on the enrolment of preschool children. The government can help by providing free preschool education. The government through different stakeholders should try providing school feeding programs for preschoolers. The government should also initiate adult education to help those parents who are not well educated so that they can appreciate the importance of preschool education. The researcher noted issues emerging from the study and recommended other research areas for further investigation such as family composition and its effect to preschool children enrolment.