Saturday, 14 December 2013


There is something I've noticed about my dear fellow Nigerians and while it may be somewhat commendable, it's not entirely very flattering. It is the speed at which we import everything including ideas, be it good or bad from overseas in the name of rapid development. The speed is in nanoseconds. The speed may be good at times, however, the zeal with which these projects are implemented and the timing are very faulty. This observation goes for every sphere in Nigeria from the top politicians to the regular businessman to the poorest of the poor. Take for example, the Nigerian senate contemplating the issue of gay marriage when its citizens are dying of hunger and lack of basic amenities. Who thinks of marriage on an empty tummy?

The creche I visited (Later that day)
Another example are creches. They also go by many different names like daycare, playgroup to mention a few. Growing up, I was the few lucky ones who never got to see the inside of a creche. There wasn't much use for them then too because there were always some relatives, all of varying ages around to take care of the little ones. Another important thing back then was the different school timings to suit all members of the family. So that while the first set of children went to school in the mornings, the second set waited and took care of the house till afternoon, when it their turn to go. The first set of children would already be home by them. Advantage? - housework and food preparation doesn't suffer. Disadvantage? - The second set of children suffer. They may be too tired when it's time for them to go to school, especially with the sun blaring down on them.

What happens these days, is that everyone leaves the home before 7:30 am, necessitating a wake up time of 5 am or before. (Children inclusive regardless of their needs). Most other times, especially for homes with no kids, breakfast (the most important meal for the day) is skipped. Back to the matter at hand, children suffer most. They wake up when they are still supposed to be very much asleep. I remember spending a whole year (during my NYSC) with one of my aunts. The children were woken up at 5 am to start the routine morning clean-up. One of them in particular always cried in protest, screaming "I want to SLLEEEEPP!!!!" stressing on the sleep. It always distressed me. I decided then to wake her up last, giving her and extra hour

They are then kept in the creche from 7 am - 4 pm, all day, everyday. They get their care and attention from people they rarely know and learn habits as well. Last year, I visited a creche near my place of work. A friend of mine wanted to pick up her kids. What I saw wasn't at all pleasing to the eyes. The place was untidy, the persons in charge of taking care of the children was feeding about four children at once with her bare hands. I wondered if she wasn't aware she could transmit infection from one child to another in that way. Your child comes home sick almost everytime, and you are wondering what happened. Afterall you do your best. I decided at that moment that none of by kids would see the inside of a creche.

So as not to base my decision on one experience, I visited more creches and found that there were not all as bad, some even excellent. I changed my decision from not using anyone at all to getting the best. There are features to look out for if you are searching for a creche and they are;

  • The reason for seeking out a creche: is it tangible or you just want to follow the latest trends?
  • Age: what is the ideal age to put your child in a creche, considering their immune systems and rate of disease transmission?
  • Staffing: are they professionals? 
  • Environment: Is it spacious, clean and child friendly? Is it overcrowded
  • Ratio of personnel to children
  • What activities are carried out in the creche? Can the child learn some good values?

Finally, not all daycare is proper childcare. We should be careful not to expose the little ones to forms of abuse in the name of care.



  1. The truth is that the good creches are expensive, but if you can afford it go for it. I still prefer a creche than leaving your baby is a househelp who you dont know from Adam. Heard too many stories of househelp even molesting children. Right now its not as easy as it was, every body works, our mothers still work so no extended omugwo and all.

    1. Thank you so much for this comment Jumoke. I didn't even remember the househelps. They are terrible these days especially because they are usually not relatives. Even some relative have "bad belle" for you and can harm your kids. A good creche is better than a bad relative househelp. The househelps take advantage too. Although, I've heard stories of how parents pay extra to the creche workers so their children are not neglected. It's a dicey situation we find ourselves in. Right?


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