Influence of socio- economic factors on internal efficiency in early childhood development centres in mwingi central district, Kenya
Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) globally and Kenya in particular has been recognized as a child's holistic and integrated education that meets the cognitive, socio moral, spiritual, emotional, physical and developmental needs. The purpose of the study was to investigate the socio economic factors influencing internal efficiency at ECD centers in Mwingi Central District, Kitui County. The objectives were; to determine the extent to which school physical facilities influence enrolments at ECD centers in Mwingi Central District; to assess the extent to which teacher’s level of training influences performance of children at ECD centers in Mwingi Central District; to establish the extent to which feeding programme influences school dropout rate at ECD centers in Mwingi Central District; to determine the extent to which parent level of income influences completion rate at ECD centers in Mwingi Central District. The study used descriptive research survey design. A total of 124 ECD centers were targeted. . To carry out the research, 19 ECD centers, 38 head teachers, 30 teachers, 186 school committee members and 633 parents were randomly selected. The analyzed data was presented in tables and graphs. The researcher found that the number of children in the schools per class was 21-40 children. Teacher turnover rate was average. Classroom management and teachers attitude affected performance at ECD centres to a very great extent as shown by 73% and 69% respectively. Free feeding programme helps to reduce school dropout rate as shown by 70% and parents feel more secure when their kids are provided with food at ECD centre. Ability to pay school fees helped to increase completion rate at ECD centres as shown by 76%. The researcher concludes that the ECD classes had a manageable population. The schools had physical facilities though they were not enough. There was minimal absenteeism and turnover among the teachers. This study recommends the CDF committee members to offer funds for developing ECD centers. The ministry of education needs to offer short courses and seminars for ECD teachers to help them change with time. The school committee needs to come up with a feeding programme which is cheap and affordable.