WHY WE EXIST
Children easily fall through the cracks especially when their guardians are traps in urban poverty. Many interventions focus on teaching the Kayayoo mother a skill or teaching them to be more sexually responsible while living in the dangers of open markets and unplanned settlements.
No interventions have focused on the children caught in the risky and often dangerous life in urban poverty. There is to date no data or census on this group of children even though about 3 out of 4 Kayayoo women have a child under 6.
The Kayayoo's child's foundational development is left to chance in the most critical years of their life. Research has shown that 80% of life’s learning is acquired by age 8, and the first 3 years of a child’s life has a profound impact on the capacity of that child to succeed during further formal education, and later in life.
Unfortunately the lack of proper development of the 0 to 4 year old child continues the cycle of poverty
WHAT WE DO
In setting up Kaya ChildCare, we are augmenting the efforts of the hardworking kayayoo mother in providing for her child’s development in the critical formative years of the child's life, to change their default end from being a life on the street.
We do this through an early childhood development center setup for Kayayoo kids only. The center is designed to run to fit the schedule and life of the Kayayoo mother. We also take the opportunity to augment the diet of the children in our care with two snacks and one meal a day.
Learning and development is by a learning-through-play model; creating toys from local recyclable materials; and working with volunteers and other child-focused expert organizations to ensure the Kayayoo’s child also gets a fair chance for an optimum early childhood development.
The center currently opens at 7:30AM on weekdays, Monday through Friday. One Sunday per quarter, we organize workshops and programs in health, hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition for the mothers.
NUTRITION AND HEALTH AT THE CENTER
Our aim with nutrition and health is to supplement the mother's efforts. We also ensure to keep records and collect important cognitive, health, and nutrition data needed to keep track of the child's holistic development.
The children at the center receive a full lunch meal and snacks each day. This is to ensure that during the time in our care, we supplement the diet they receive at home. Breast-feeding mothers are encouraged to come in at several points in the day to feed their babies.
A baseline health record is set for all kids at the center; and a general health screening is conducted half yearly to keep records updated. Interim attention is given to kids to note and address any health or developmental gaps which may arise.
All center team members are trained in first aid, and review the first aid and emergency response policies quarterly.
LEARNING-TRHOUGH-PLAY IN OUR CONTEXT
It's simple, children learn when they play!
Learning-through play is not a new concept. It's recognized by child-focused organizations worldwide as the best way for children to naturally develop. We recognize is too!
Our use of this model is in three ways:
1. We make our own toys, so that the children and their mothers can make their own toys.
2. We create (and constantly evalaute) curriculums around this method of child development. Curriculums that are customized to fit the lives and experiences of our target group.
3. We are constantly collecting data and researching on what the ideal model for early childhood development through play looks like for underpriviledged single mothers who live in slums.
WHO WE ARE
We are ordinary people, regular individuals, you've probably crossed paths with one or two of us on the streets of Accra in the past.
One thing though is, we are passionate with lots of love for children. We recognize that a child has no choice over the family it's born into, but society has a choice to make, to either ignore this child's plight, or take the initiave to provide options for child-development for families that have none.
Additionally, we appreciate the level of hardwork the Kayayoo mother puts in her day! We are more than happy to lend her a hand.