By Matilda Atieno
Kisumu stands out to be the first county to embrace the on-campus baby care program in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centers targeting young mothers who wish to pursue vocational training.
In a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the County Government and Kidogo Innovations, by CEC member for Education ICT and Human Capacity Development, Mr. John Awiti and Martin Kiyeng of Kidogo innovations, affirming that the establishment and operation of baby care Centre is a silver lining for students in TVET centers.
Kisumu County is well-placed to play an important role in education with a significant potential contribution to accelerate provision and service delivery of quality affordable institution baby care for the children of the students.
The chief officer, Madam Penina Onyango confirmed that Baby care is an essential need in most of the TVET centers brought to the attention of the County Department of Education. In response, the Department in partnership with Kidogo innovations has created baby care assisted centers to provide backup baby care for the students who have an extra burden of where to leave their young children.
Baby care challenges have become a barrier to learning especially for young mothers, who have to be taking class lessons while at the same time looking after their babies. The Students, particularly women and girls, face additional constraints in terms of time available due to competing responsibilities, such as caring for children and elderly family members and other household duties.
In her communication with the County review, the County Director for TVETs Madam Pascalia Ouma affirmed the County’s commitment to supporting the training needs of the vocational centers including the well-being of the students has partnered with Kidogo Innovations to provide much-needed support to students to manage their learning sessions.
“We seek to adapt the Early Childhood Model Centers dubbed ‘baby care center’ in three of our institutions namely Akado, Ahero and Obange Training centers which are set to provide supervision and care of infants and young children during the daytime, particularly so that their parents can hold classes,” stated Madam Ouma.
Having completed needs assessment in all the 26 centers across the county, the department Working closely with the Kidogo innovations team, identified the three centers for the pilot program to adopt the baby care centers. Plans are also underway to establish and equip the remaining 23 centers across the county.
The program seeks to allocate space for the baby centers within the institutions. The spaces are then renovated and well equipped with play stations, beddings, toys, mats and also provide a well-trained caretaker in each center.
The equipping of the centers is currently underway under the supervision of the directorate of TVET and the center managers.
Kidogo innovations are keen to improve access to quality, affordable childcare and pre-school services in low-income communities including Kisumu.