THERE is fear of increased number of street children following revelations that over 50 percent of children in Malawi have a poor life foundation.
The Association of Early Childhood Development in Malawi, AECDM, says the country’s untrained caregivers and poor infrastructure are failing to serve all 4 million under-five children that need the service.
AECDM executive director, Archie Malisita, told The Express that the absence of early childhood development has a negative impact on society including early school dropout and anti-social behavior.
“Outcomes include; high dropout and repetition rates in primary school, poor retention and delayed mental.
“Deprivation of quality care and poor treatment are particularly damaging to young children, with repercussions felt into the adult life,” explained Malista.
As part of addressing the challenge, the ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, has been calling for the private sector to come in and help in rescuing the situation.
So far, AECDM has appealed to the private sector to come in and help curbing the situation by adopting some centers and assist in training caregivers.
Out of 37 thousand caregiver workers in the country, only 17 thousand are well trained which leaves children in the hands of people with no proper skills.
Malawi currently has 11,888 ECD centers across the country with some being run by community based organizations.
Most of the centers however, lack appropriate playing materials for the children.