The steady increase in the cost of living in Nairobi over the last decade has arguably hit parents the hardest.
This is because they not only have to fend for themselves but their children as well.
One particular portion of their budget that has taken a major hit is the cost of education from day care all the way to campus.
For this particular piece, we will narrow down on daycare centers around the Kenyan capital in terms of pricing.
Daycare gives children experiences that are genuinely useful to them. They learn new social and practical skills that benefit them.
For example, they get used to relating to adults other than mum and dad, and they get used to functioning well in a group with other similar-aged children; both social skills that are useful both in school and elsewhere.
There are places in Nairobi where Child care is very expensive and other places where it's relatively cheaper.
The average cost of childcare in Kenya ranges from Ksh300 to Ksh1,000 per day depending on the location and age of the child.
Estates such as Lavington, Karen, Kilimani, Upperhill, Parklands and Muthaiga are very expensive. Child care per day would go for as high as 30 US dollars (Ksh 3,000).
Taking Korogocho as an example, the average monthly cost of full-time daycare in this setting is Ksh335.
Most daycares operate between 6.00 am and 7.00pm with few providing extended stay (night care).
The exact amount of daycare fee can be attributed to several factors such as: area of operation, the level of decoration and how well the daycare is equipped, hours of operation, daycare programs involving extra activities, a more unique arrangement among others.
Offering meals at a daycare presents a unique challenge and cost altogether. Obviously, daycare rates without meals are cheaper than cooked food at the daycare.
On the other hand, warming pre-cooked from home and not letting the children eat freshly cooked meals is a compromise some parents make to save on some money.
Let's look at some of the well known daycare centres in Nairobi in a little more detail.
Daycare Centres in Nairobi
Victoria Kid's Care
Located along Thika road off Exit 7, the institution offers daycare services for kids aged from 4 months to 3 years.
From their website, Ksh1,000 is tagged as the daily rate inclusive of meals. A Ksh3,000 non-refundable registration fee is also required when one enrolls their kid.
They also offer a discount for more than one sibling (7% for 2nd child; 10% for 3rd child), as is done by most daycare centres around.
Kids Palace Kenya - Daycare and Playgroup
Located in Athi River near the Greatwall Apartments Phase III, this daycare opened its doors in December 2014, initially offering daycare services to children as young as 6 months.
Playgroups for 1-3 year olds are charged at Ksh500 per day.
Daycare charges for 1-2 year olds is Ksh30,000 per terms with 3-year-olds paying Ksh5,000 more per term.
Kids Palace also supports the development of children with special needs.
The Monarch Daycare & School Zimmerman
Located Opposite Budget Supermarket, Off Kamiti Road, this centre is known for its affordable rates.
For daycare services, Ksh200 is charged per day, inclusive of meals. On the other hand, their daycare package (Monday-Friday) goes for Ksh10,000 per term.
Here are some more daycare centres around Nairobi worth checking out.
Atlantis Kiddy’s Palace Daycare – Spring Valley
Butterfly Kids Playhouse – Kileleshwa
Harvey and Amara Daycare – Umoja
Neema Daycare – Ngong
Little Harvard Daycare – Umoja
Little Angels Daycare – Ruai
Busy Bees Daycare – Donholm
Pumpkin Patch Daycare – Utawala
Afriq Babycare – Kahawa West
Crysage Daycare – Komarock
Sweet Second Home Daycare – Utawala
Greater Height Childcare – Karen
Miles of smiles Daycare – Kasarani
Bees Haven Daycare – Syokimau
Jabrown Daycare & Playhouse – Membley
Importance of Daycare
Every daycare activity serves as a warm-up for upcoming formal learning.
Any type of learning that occurs at daycare should ensure a smooth transition to formal education.
High-quality child care keeps children safe and healthy. It also helps children develop skills they will need for success in school and in their lives outside of school.
In addition to the positive long-term impacts that high-quality preschool and child care have on children and the economy, these programs provide important benefits to working parents, especially working mothers.
We shouldn’t forget that affordable high-quality child care is also essential to parents’ abilities to balance work success with family responsibilities—a goal that every parent deserves to easily achieve.
Tips for Choosing Child Care
Ask any parent and you'll soon learn that placing your child into care for the first time can be a very stressful and nerve-wracking experience.
Here are a few considerations when choosing a childcare centre that could help put a mum or dad's mind at ease.
Location and Value
Make a list of all the childcare centres in your area and contact each one to find out what their annual fees are and if there are any additional fees. Catering, special events, and even waiting list fees may incur additional costs.
Make a decision based on factors other than price, such as proximity to your home and workplace. Would it be more convenient to have a centre closer to your home or workplace?
What's on the Menu
Healthy menus equal healthy minds.
As children take the big step of starting childcare or preschool, it's critical that they eat healthy meals that keep their energy levels stable.
Professional, caring, and engaging staff are more important than having the most up-to-date play equipment, but keep in mind the age and condition of the infrastructure at your daycare of choice.
You should look for a centre that has a secure, modern infrastructure and learning resources.
When you visit a potential site, observe how the staff interacts with the children. A caregiver should ideally be on the floor with the children, either playing with them.
While word-of-mouth referrals from other parents or trusted resources are helpful, you must inspect a facility for yourself to determine whether it meets your needs.
Visit the same centres at different times of the day if possible to get a sense of how the staff interacts with the children and what the routine is.