Lack of incentives to caregivers and inadequate government funding are affecting delivery of early childhood development (ECD) programmes in Malawi.
Officials disclosed this during a meeting the Association of Early Childhood Development in Malawi (AECDM) held with Rumphi District Executive Committee on Tuesday.
The meeting was aimed at orienting the committee on ECD programmes to be implemented in the district and how communities can be involved.
AECDM is implementing a two-year ECD project targeting children aged from 0-8 years through training of preschool teachers and caregivers, parent committees and volunteers with funding from the European Union (EU) and the Department for International Development (DfID) through Tilitonse Programme in Rumphi, Nkhata Bay, Ntcheu, Neno, Mwanza and Mchinji districts.
During the meeting, participants chose Sub-T/A Mwahenga area in Rumphi to benefit from the programme.
Rumphi district director of planning and development Frank Mkandawire said that although the district registered 358 community-based ECD centres, only 198 were functional.
Â â€œMost centres lack proper structures like seesaws, toys and proper sanitation which affect delivery of learning,â€ he said.
Mkandawire said although government adopted a community-based approach to run the ECD centres in the villages, caregivers were looking for payment to motivate them.
â€œThese people leave their daily business to facilitate learning in the centres and they look for some compensation,â€ he said.
ECD officer for AECDM Ruth Makwakwa said her organisation expected government to increase budgetary funding towards ECD by five percent in the next financial year.