• Article

Scaling up early childhood development and education in a devolved setting Policy making, resource allocations, and impacts of the Tayari school readiness program in Kenya

Early childhood development and education (ECDE) is devolved in Kenya, which means that each of Kenya’s 47 counties budgets for and implements ECDE independently. Kenya provides two years of preprimary education to children ages 4 and 5. Given scarce resources, constructing facilities and hiring teachers are often the principal considerations for county governments. The qualitative research presented in this paper investigated whether and how counties go beyond the basic provision of facilities and teachers to invest in learning materials, expand teacher professional development, and hire coaches to improve the quality of teaching. These results are presented in the context of the Tayari preprimary program, which was designed to improve school readiness in a cost-effective way. We present qualitative findings from several counties, to understand how government bodies have decided to invest in additional quality elements of preprimary quality improvement. We compare results from counties currently implementing Tayari with results from other counties, to understand whether implementation of an effective program to increase ECDE quality encourages adjustments in government resource allocations. In addition, we present quantitative results from a large-sample, longitudinal, treatment and control study of the Tayari model, which is testing the effectiveness of using curriculum-aligned instructional materials, plus teacher training and support, to improve learners’ school readiness in public and low-cost private learning centers. Finally, we present policy implications for how decentralized government structures responsible for providing ECDE can be supported and incentivized to increase investments in ECDE quality.

Citation

Piper, B., Merseth, K. A., & Ngaruiya, S. (2018). Scaling up early childhood development and education in a devolved setting: Policy making, resource allocations, and impacts of the Tayari school readiness program in Kenya. Global Education Review, 5(2), 47-68.