By how the world has evolved, our traditions got eroded, and our responsibilities changed over time, affecting the social fabric of our society significantly, our ancestors must be surprised. On day care, maybe, we score the least in their eyes.
Meet Annah Mwangi, the dreamer that dared to have her eight-year-old passion come true. Being a professional Human Resource person, a sales expert and a lower primary tutor was not enough to have her enjoy her profession, attend to her kids and still enjoy her life.
Her desire to have her own daycare and school started from her own home. Beginning her charity from home, she was paying hefty fees for her children in one of the prestigious schools in Mombasa.
She was happy that her kids were speaking fluent English and had no doubt they would rock the world. Little did she know she was busking under a storm.
Birthing the dream
One of her discoveries was when the Covid-19 virus hit the world and schools were closed for a year. Her husband decided to home-school the kids and that was when he almost choked with fury and shock.
The kids could not spell most of the words or read most of the basic terms.
That was the beginning of a journey that opened their eyes to what they had been assuming—giving their children a backup at home concerning school work apart from the teacher’s roles.
Mrs. Mwangi decided to transfer her kids to another school. But before that, she made it her mandate to visit the school Director. Her inquiry was to have an honest conversation about her children’s education.
She wanted a school that would preach what they drink. She wanted correct marks for her kids and not just high marks that do not reflect on the papers when they go through for revision.
She wanted to know that her kids were not perfect and should be treated so and be given the proper guidance.
This moment of disbelief gave her the zeal to materialize her dreams.
She started a Day Care that would mentor and identify kids’ talent and give them a foundation that would elevate them to other stages as they deserve. Thus its name was Achievers Day Care.
The Kenyan government has guidelines that any learning institution should follow regarding education.
The Ministry of education in Mombasa was her first stop to have a permit to go on.
For Day Care to be legally operational, the owner needs a health permit, a go-ahead from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA), and other relevant stakeholders.
“I was given the right curriculum and syllabus to follow. My network has been helpful too; I usually consult a certain head teacher who has been directing me more,” she says.
The Achievers Day Care started by accommodating children from walk-in parents, accommodating children below two years.
Gradually, it has upgraded to be The Archivers Day Care School. It now has pupils in PP1, PP2 and Grade 1. It is fast growing and expanding.
“Unlike my experience with my children in their former school, my mission is to be honest with parents about their children.
I do my research and am learning a lot about the different behaviors these children display,” Mrs. Mwangi adds.
Located opposite Mwembelegeza District Officer’s Office area in Mombasa, Achievers Day Care continues to attract walk-in clients since its inception in April 2022.
She says she is yet to do any marketing for the institution so far as expanding the classes is her priority. Her joy is that the classes would be full once she starts to advertise the school.
Her position as the Director has had her interact with parents from different social backgrounds. She says parents have different ways of bringing up their children; while some can be so busy to have time and know their kids more, her daycare has been the bridge between her and the parents.
“The children have learned to speak faster while around the rest of the kids. Each day I identify their talents, strengths and weaknesses and know how I can use them for their growth through mentorship involving parents,” she interjects.
Mrs. Mwangi has a way of ensuring the children’s safety is taken with all keenness.
She ensures a child is admitted upon filling in the relevant forms she uses for admission.
The parents or guardians are advised to leave the child’s health record and give a contact person that would be contacted in case of anything when the parent is not near, among other crucial information.
“I have identified different issues affecting some children and have addressed it with the parents,” she says, revealing, “some parents get angry when you tell them the truth.”
She insists that parents should know that raising a child is a community effort. The teacher can only do much, but cooperation is essential to balance the children’s life.
A visit by The Scholar Media Africa to the school identified that the children around the various classes are busy reading, some playing, and others arranging their toys.
Mrs. Mwangi also ensures the children who need washroom help are trained and assisted, and those with running noses are well cared for.
The discipline instilled in the young children is evident in how they speak, greet visitors and help each other.
Her classes are colorfully painted, thus pleasing to the young children.
There are toys in plenty. Besides the three classes, Mrs. Mwangi has a kitchen, a playground and an office to help with the documentation.
Meanwhile, as we continue with the interview, walk-in clients are making their way in and out.
They are accompanied by their young ones; all they are inquiring about is whether the school fits their young ones.
With a great playground set to be equipped with full children’s play tools and facilities, the Achievers Day Care sits in a clean, quiet and safe environment.
The area has been made to ensure the kids’ safety in and out of class.
“I also take the children for swimming classes, where they have a trainer and instructor. So it is not all about studies and toys, and running around,” Mrs. Mwangi says.
The Day Care has a car that helps drop the children back to their homes, but some are picked up from school by their parents and guardians.
Mrs. Mwangi has hired a health professional to attend to the children’s heath needs.
For meal times, she says some parents have no problem with her timetable, while some would have a special menu to be strictly followed by their children.
She encourages parents to monitor what children watch and what games they play.
The influence of the kids from home is visible when in school and as they interact. She hopes to, one day, host workshops that would be on what the kids consume.
Aware that children have low concentration, her school timetable is well organized.
She believes that children develop learning and speaking skills within the first six months of their lives.
“During this stage,” she says, “a child should be lead and not mislead.”
Daycare for children was first introduced in France in the 1840s.
Their main goal was and still is to teach toddlers to learn their environment, how to communicate, ease themselves and sharpen their minds.
Its main advantage is to help parents concentrate in their workplace, be it full-time or part-time.
In Kenya, parents can choose whichever day care suits them. They also decide whether to enrol their children or not.
As some run away from cruel house managers who torture their children, some have decided to have their kins take care of their toddlers.
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In most organizations, there are places and spaces set for the employees’ toddlers to rest, be fed, and be breastfed by their parents during their work breaks.
Some places of worship, too, have set a section for nursing the babies during worship days.
As for Mrs. Mwangi, the future is bright as the generations that will pass through her hands will experience healthy growth through her Achievers Day Care.