Balancing paid work and child care in a slum of Nairobi, Kenya: The case for centre-based child care
As a growing number of women across sub-Saharan Africa engage in paid work, they face the challenge of finding suitable child care arrangements. Drawing on survey data from over 1,200 mothers and in-depth interviews with 31 of these women, we find that mothers living in a slum of Nairobi, Kenya, employ three main strategies to balance their work and child care responsibilities: (1) combine work and child care, (2) rely on kin and neighbours, or (3) use centre-based care. Mothers reported numerous disadvantages to either bringing their children to work or depending on others for child care assistance. In contrast, mothers highlighted several perceived benefits of centre-based child care for themselves and their children, while noting that costs were often prohibitive. These findings suggest that providing affordable centre-based child care could be a key strategy to improving the lives and welfare of women and children living in African slums.
Clark, Shelley, Midanna De Almada, Caroline W. Kabiru, Stella Muthuri, and Milka Wanjohi. 2018. "Balancing paid work and child care in a slum of Nairobi, Kenya: The case for centre-based child care," Journal of Family Studies, https://doi.org/10.1080/13229400.2018.1511451.