Provision of early childhood education in the era of devolution in Kenya: A case of two ece centers in Machakos County, Kenya.

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)

First Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Fortidas Bakuza

Second Supervisor/Advisor

Dr. Abdalla Mohamed


Institute for Educational Development, East Africa


In 2010, Kenyans voted in a new constitution which devolved a significant number of functions to the newly created 47devolved county governments including early childhood education. With the general elections in 2013 these county governments started their operations with zeal since Kenyans were banking on them to improve their lives through the devolved functions. This study sought to find out the state of provision of early childhood education (ECE) in the era of devolution in Kenya. The study was guided by the following question: ‘In what ways has devolution enhanced the provision of ECE in Kenya?’ The two subsidiary questions were: ‘What challenges affect the provision of early childhood education in Kenya’? ‘In which ways can devolution improve the provision of ECE in Kenya?’The study adopted a qualitative approach with a case study of two early childhood centers in Machakos County, Kenya. Methods of collecting data were interviews, data analysis and focus group interviews. Participants included; two ECE officers in the county, two teachers and eleven parents with children in the two ECE centers. Results of the study confirmed that factors inhibiting the provision of ECE included poverty, poor learning environments and the effects of free primary education. Participants suggested to the county government ways of enhancing the provision of ECE including making it free, improving learning conditions in the ECE centers and, educating the public on the importance of ECE. The study established that intervention measures undertaken by the county government included supplying playing equipment and lap boards to schools. Factors that were hampering full intervention by the county government were recruiting non ECE compliant personnel to man ECE and lack of commitment by the county government.

This document is available in the relevant AKU library