Early childhood education: exploring the relationship between the headteacher of a public primary school and the on- site Kindergarten classes in Kenya

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Darcey M. Dachyshyn

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Marriote Ngwaru


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


Early childhood education is one of the basic levels of education practises in Kenya. It lays the foundation to the child at the early ages between zero and five years. These children learn in kindergarten centres, nursery or pre-primary schools which are managed by the faith organisations, private individuals, and community. The children pay fee to facilitate for the teacher’s salary and buying of the stationery to sustain the centre. The centres provided none academic education but were meant for care and health of the children. The kindergarten schools have been under the Ministry of Health for long and then moved to the Ministry of Social services, finally in 1980 the early childhood education was placed under the Ministry of education. The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology in 2003, enforced the creation of kindergarten classes in every public primary school in Kenya. The headteacher of the primary school was made to manage and supervise the on-site kindergarten classes. The main objective of this study was to find out how the headteacher of a public primary school exercised managerial roles onto the on-site kindergarten classes for teaching and learning. The study used Qualitative data collection techniques with Individual interviews under taken with the headteacher and three kindergarten teachers. A focus group discussion with six on-site kindergarten parents was conducted. Document analysis carried on all professional record books and Ministry of Education communication files based on the early childhood education. The parents and the teachers revealed how the headteacher as the manager of the on-site kindergarten, used the parental involvement style of management with the help of the school management committee to provide for the on-site kindergarten classes. It was also illustrated through the participants’ responses that the headteacher do not supervise both the kindergarten teachers and the children as required by the Ministry of education. The study was done in a public primary school with the on-site kindergarten class in Mombasa County, Kenya.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library