The Nairobi County government has scrapped levies and fees for all children in pre-primary across the 2,015 public schools in the city.
The county on Friday launched a Sh52.8 million capitation fund for the 13,848 children currently enrolled in the Early Childhood Education Centres (ECDE) in the capital.
“I have directed that all levies in all the 205 public ECDE centres in Nairobi be scrapped with immediate effect.
All children in Nairobi must enjoy access to a good start in life irrespective of where they born,” Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko said.
Each child has been allocated Sh3,815 to cater for their learning materials and meals.
The fund is expected to increase every financial year to cater for the anticipated rise in numbers.
Centre managers in all 205 schools are the mandatory signatories to the fund, with head teachers and parents’ representatives.
Each centre will get at least Sh200,000, depending on the number of pupils.
A key focus will be on informal and low-income settlements like Dandora where centres have as high as 100 pupils.
The move is likely to see children flocking back to public pre-primary centres that have been shunned due to high fees and dilapidated facilities.
The county projects the fund will save parents save as much Sh10,000 per term fees.
It is also expected to increase enrollment from the current 15,295 children to at least 17,000 by the end of the year.
The governor warned those likely to misuse the funds, ordering relevant offices to ensure transparency in management of the funds.
In addition to the funds, the county is finalising plans to employ 520 new ECDE teachers, besides procuring furniture for all public schools that are dilapidated due to years of underfunding and neglect.
The capitation fund will boost efforts by the national government, which currently offers free education for all pupils in public primary schools and day scholars in public secondary schools.