An Exploration of Childhood and Childcare for 0–3 year olds in Coastal Kenya: An ethnographic deep-dive and quantitative study

Saul Parker & Sophie Dollar - The Kays Foundation

In November 2018 the Kays Foundation carried out a month of qualitative research into parenting attitudes and practices in coastal Kenya. Through a combination of ethnography, quantitative data collection and documentary film-making, they set out to cast new light on the First 1,000 Days, understanding this life-stage from the vantage point of families and communities.

Their fieldwork was split between rural Kilifi (Ganze) and an informal settlement in urban Mombasa (Kibarani). These locations helped the researchers to explore a range of contrasting needs and the implications and opportunities for funding, policy and programming in diverse contexts. Their approach included a mixture of expert interviews, home-based ethnography sessions, journey-mapping workshops and daycare centre visits. 

The result is a full research debrief that includes the qualitative and quantitative findings from the study.

This study has been carried out with the sole purpose of bringing new insights on early childhood and childcare to the EC community, to help improve support for and services to 0–3 year olds. The report groups insights and key implications thematically, covering a range of associated topics. 

This brief is accompanied by a documentary film that captures a strand of the research findings, focusing on the central role of mothers in early childhood.