Improving the quality of child-care centres through supportive assessment and 'communities of practice' in informal settlements in Nairobi: protocol of a feasibility study.


Nampijja M(1), Okelo K(2), Wekulo PK(2), Kimani-Murage EW(2), Elsey H(3).
Author information:
(1)Maternal and Child Wellbeing Unit, African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi, Kenya [Email]
(2)Maternal and Child Wellbeing Unit, African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi, Kenya.
(3)Department of Health Sciences, University of York, York, UK.


INTRODUCTION: Investing in children during the critical period between birth and age 5 years can have long-lasting benefits throughout their life. Children in Kenya's urban informal settlements, face significant challenges to healthy development, particularly when their families need to earn a daily wage and cannot care for them during the day. In response, informal and poor quality child-care centres with untrained caregivers have proliferated. We aim to co-design and test the feasibility of a supportive assessment and skills-building for child-care centre providers. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A sequential mixed-methods approach will be used. We will map and profile child-care centres in two informal settlements in Nairobi, and complete a brief quality assessment of 50 child-care centres. We will test the feasibility of a supportive assessment skills-building system on 40 child-care centres, beginning with assessing centre-caregivers' knowledge and skills in these centres. This will inform the subsequent co-design process and provide baseline data. Following a policy review, we will use experience-based co-design to develop the supportive assessment process. This will include qualitative interviews with policymakers (n=15), focus groups with parents (n=4 focus group discussions (FGDs)), child-care providers (n=4 FGDs) and joint workshops. To assess feasibility and acceptability, we will observe, record and cost implementation for 6 months. The knowledge/skills questionnaire will be repeated at the end of implementation and results will inform the purposive selection of 10 child-care providers and parents for qualitative interviews. Descriptive statistics and thematic framework approach will respectively be used to analyse quantitative and qualitative data and identify drivers of feasibility. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The study has been approved by Amref Health Africa's Ethics and Scientific Review Committee (Ref: P7802020 on 20th April 2020) and the University of York (Ref: HSRGC 20th March 2020). Findings will be published and continual engagement with decision-makers will embed findings into child-care policy and practice.