The Addis Ababa Technical and Vocational Education Training Agency announced that eleven colleges are now providing childcare training courses for those wishing to enter the daycare profession or work in private homes as nannies.
They include courses on feeding and caring for children under five years of age, Child Development and Creative Play, Health and Safety which includes handling fire emergencies, First Aid and CPR, Child Nutrition, Child Care and Household Management and Child Protection.
Zaru Simur, director of the agency, said that better trained nannies will benefit many families. “Previously, there were not formal state institutions providing preschool care training. Many people rely on people who have migrated from rural areas to take care of their children so working parents and single mothers have no choice but to arrange for someone to look after their children while they are out.
“To tackle the problem we are pushing private and government colleges to train professional nannies we know that out of the 11 colleges five of them are providing better trainings.”
Solomon Mulegeta, owner of Eshururu Nanny Training Center said that many things has yet to be done to get to serve households and childcare center with trained person.
“Many daycare centers hire untrained nannies. Putting our children in the hands of someone who knows nothing about working with children is unfair. It is good that colleges are providing childcare training but it doesn’t do any good if the market is flooded with unskilled nannies.”
“’Childcare is a huge challenge for our country because it is treated as an informal sector, much like cleaning – merely a maid’s job. Our children deserve much better than that. Recruitment of domestic workers and/or nannies is not monitored and there is no vetting system to establish the suitability of child minders.
“Childcare needs to be better regulated. The introduction of legislation requiring a minimum standard for in-home childcare service providers, plus the requirement for registration through a regulatory body would be a step in the right direction.’’ he said.
Recent reports indicate there are over 150 daycare centers in Addis Ababa. Because many daycare centers are operated informally little effective research has been done.