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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine
Title Sustainable poverty amelioration through early life education in a peri-urban community of Lagos, Nigeria
Volume 2
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
Page numbers 7-pages
URL http://phcfm.org/index.php/phcfm/article/viewArticle/98/95
Background: Daycare centres/nurseries have become popular because of the need for working mothers to leave young children with caregivers. However, the high poverty level (54% relative and 35% extreme poverty) makes it difficult for disadvantaged parents to pay the high fees charged by the centres. This study describes an attempt to economically empower mothers through the organisation of free early life education in a peri-urban community in Lagos.

Objectives: The aim of the study was to examine early life education for under-fives as a means of economic empowerment of mothers and sustainable poverty amelioration.

Method: The methodology included a non-randomised selection of 34 disadvantaged mothers by criteria, a prospective intervention utilising community resources to organise early childhood education, an in-depth interview of mothers, and observation of the outcomes over a 5-year period.

Results: The result of the study showed that no mother preferred keeping a child older than three years at home. Access to early childhood education gave mothers opportunity to undergo vocational training (1, 2.8%) and take up new/additional jobs (12, 35.3%). All mothers and 32 (80%) of the participating families more than doubled their income, earning up to twenty thousand Naira (approximately $182) per month from the first year of participation. Finally, selection criteria and periodic assessment of immunisation/growth monitoring records of participants’ children improved compliance with primary health care service utilisation.

Conclusion: Organisation of early childhood education had the potential for sustainable poverty amelioration through economic empowerment of mothers.

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