Samburu Integrated Early Childhood Development (ECD) project.

About: World Vision Kenya in partnership with UNICEF is implementing the Samburu IECD project. The project aligns well with World Vision’s education objective which seeks to improve access to quality early childhood care and education among children aged 4 to 5 years,  as well as their successful transition to primary school

Location: The project is implemented in Samburu Central in three wards namely:  Maralal, Suguta and Lodokejek .

Beneficiaries: It targets 1,750 children (4-5 year olds), 1000 parents and caregivers, 30 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres and 9 health facilities.

Aim and Approaches: 

The project seeks to strengthen access to quality ECD for 1,750 children aged 4 to 5 years old in Samburu Central Sub-County. This is achieved through the following strategies:

  • Strengthening the co-ordination and management of ECD service providers at the national level and Samburu County.
  • Empowering parents and caregivers with effective child care practices.
  • Providing a safe and stimulating learning environment.


1. Strengthened safe and stimulative learning environments in 30 pre-primary schools

The project has contributed to children accessing quality early childhood education in safe and stimulating learning environments. Thirty pre-primary schools were provided with outdoor and indoor play materials and equipment.

As a result of this intervention, children have been able to engage in playful learning at school level. Teachers are now able to easily integrate play based methodologies in the learning process. This has transformed the learning experience of 3,400 girls and boys into a fun and stimulating process which contributes to the children’s holistic development. Twenty dilapidated primary schools were also renovated and transformed into print rich classrooms that enhance the safety of learners within the school compound.

Teachers were coached and supported by Sub-County ECD officers not only in the implementation of the curriculum but also on school safety, health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene programmes

2. Training of 74 pre-primary teachers on the preprimary competence based curriculum and the nurturing care framework

In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development and the County government, 124 teachers over and above the targeted 60 were trained on the new pre-primary competence based curriculum, child nutrition, health, protection and responsive caregiving. The teachers used the skills learnt to transform the teaching/learning process from teacher focused to pupil centred. The classrooms were turned into print rich classrooms, and learning corners were established in all of them. Moreover, parents and caregivers are now actively involved in the development of play and learning materials using locally available materials. Consequently, the schools are now safe and stimulating learning environments for 2,635 pupils.

3. Strengthening management of 30 ECD centres

The project trained 90 members of the ECD management committees from 30 pre-primary schools on the management and governance processes. They were specifically trained on proper management of ECD schools and programmes. Each ECD committee formulated a school improvement plan, which they will implement with support from the county government

4. Empowering parents with effective child care skills and responsive caregiving

In total, 1,024 parents and caregivers were equipped with skills and knowledge on cognitive stimulation, health care, proper child nutrition, hygiene,  sanitation and child protection. This was achieved through cooking demonstration, parents and caregiver dialogues and home visits by Community Health Volunteers. Consequently, the quality of care given to children (aged 0 to 5 years old) has improved among the beneficiary households. This has improved school attendance and other learning outcomes as well as the health and nutrition status of targeted children.

5. Improving provision of nutritious meals in targeted ECD centres

The intervention empowered the older learners, parents and caregivers, as well as the teachers with effective gardening skills and techniques for dry climatic areas. All the 30 ECD schools are now growing green vegetables, which will be used to improve the diet of pupils at the school level.

6. Strengthening management and co-ordination of ECD services at national and county levels

The project supported the launch and operationalisation of the national early childhood education committee. The committees draw membership from all key line ministries at the national level, as well as partners. This structure will harmonise programming of ECD for pre-primary school children nationally. It will also champion the establishment of county early childhood education committees.

The formation and operationalisation of the Samburu technical working group on ECD has strengthened networking and collaboration of both state and non-state ECD actors in Samburu. The group holds quarterly planning and review meeting as well as joint monitoring sessions. From the joint planning sessions, the county government supported children in Kisima, Ilongewan and loikas pre-primary schools with new classrooms while child fund constructed a toilet block

7. Radio messaging on child nutrition, child health, cognitive stimulation, child protection hygiene and sanitation

Local resource persons passed key messages to about 100,000 parents and caregivers in the project area and beyond, subsequently complementing the parent and caregiver dialogues held on appropriate child care practices which has supported positive change in attitudes and practices among the parents and caregivers on early learning, child nutrition, health and protection


  • Sustainability of the Kitchen gardens in the ECD centers beyond the project.
  • Many of the ECD centres are not fenced. This undermines the security and any farming activities practiced.
  • Inadequate participation of relevant government sectors in the development of the IECD policy framework.


  • The project ensured adequate participation of the parents and caregivers in the management of the kitchen gardens. They will continue to tend for the vegetables with the assistance of the agricultural officers.
  • The Samburu ECD Technical Working Group will continue to lobby the county government to support the fencing of the ECD centres and other emerging needs.     
  • The project supported the launch of the National Early Childhood Education Committee and sensitised members on the significance of responding to the entire continuum of early years.