Exploring Stakeholder Perceptions of Quality Early Childhood Education in Private Day Care Centers in Ghana: A Qualitative approach
In Ghana, despite increasing enrolment, majority of children do not have access to quality early childhood education. The lack of a context specific and culturally relevant definition of quality in early childhood education is one of the challenges stakeholders face in promoting quality standards in Ghana. In this paper, we use data collected through qualitative semi-structured interviews to explore stakeholder definition of quality in early childhood education, the implications of quality, and the key characteristics emphasized in recruiting teachers into quality early childhood education. For the participants, quality early childhood education embodies three key components: safety, nutrition, and teaching. Cognitive development, social skills and leadership abilities were emphasized as some of the benefits of quality early childhood education for children. Regarding the recruitment of teachers, participants emphasized tertiary education rather than attitudinal and behavioral qualities as relevant for teachers in early childhood education. In view of the emphasis placed on nutrition in defining quality, we recommend that advocacy groups must ensure that the government’s school feeding program extends to day care centers. This will go a long way to ensure that children from poor households are not excluded from the benefits of quality early childhood education.