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Tiny Totos Cohort 11 Managers share their Bootcamp Training experience

Tiny Totos works with private and regulated daycares in low-income areas to upgrade their businesses. It does this by recruiting interested managers who are then placed in different cohorts depending on when they joined.

In September 2022, Tiny Totos welcomed its Cohort 11 managers to a week-long training capacity-building program titled Tiny Totos Managers Bootcamp. It brings together experts who focus on investment, training, counseling, digital skills, and other forms of support to help managers build their ability to run affordable, safe, and stimulating daycares.

A few of the newly onboarded daycare managers shared their experiences at the end of the training.

I am excited about my new partnership with Tiny Totos

Joblessness among professional teachers despite chronic understaffing is a recognized challenge in Kenya’s education sector. No one understands this better than Rhoda Mugambi (pictured), a trained Early Childhood Development teacher, finding a permanent position has been a laborious task.

Determined to use her ECD training to help others, Rhoda came up with the idea to set up a daycare center in her home. “I had the training and a compound with enough space to start and that is how Just like Home daycare in Utawala was born,” she says. Her journey to be part of the TTK Bootcamp was equally as interesting. In 2019 Rhoda was approached by one of the TTK daycare scouts but admits at the time that she wasn’t privy to their work, so she hesitated to join.

Unfortunately, the pandemic struck, and her plans to join in 2020 were thwarted. In 2021 Rhoda was ready to take the next step with TTK, however as fate would have it, the invitation letter was delivered while she was way away from home and she only got wind about it mid-training.

“That’s why I was more than determined to make this year’s Bootcamp. I am really glad I did. The training has been wonderful, I have learned about keeping records, stimulating and teaching the children, and the importance of nutrition for the children at my daycare. I am also excited about my new partnership with Tiny Totos.”

I am so inspired; I hope to also one day be a TTK Trainer

Anthony Omondi (pictured) is a 43-year-old father of three. He started his daycare Tony Kids in 2021 because he didn’t like the care his 8-month-old got at a daycare. “I used to work as a chef and before going off to work I would drop my older children at school. In January 2021, my wife was studying at the time and she had a class that day and asked me to drop our 8-month-old at daycare. I was not impressed by the care my child got that day and that changed the course of my life,” shares Anthony.

A short while later, Anthony quit his job as a chef and began a mandazi business near his house so that he could take care of his child. Then he figured he could take in more children and make money. He was no stranger to childcare having worked in a community hospital with children. His first attempt to promote his business involved putting out a call using posters he designed at a cyber for daycare workers and children. He struggled with both for a few months before he got one caregiver and two children to start.

His daycare currently has seven children. He runs a day and night daycare and his greatest challenge is getting round-the-clock help and operating from his one-bedroom home. Unknown to Anthony, the daycare posters also caught the attention of the TTK community health volunteer (CHV) who was scouting for partner daycares in the area. Something he now sees as a blessing. “I am very happy I agreed to sign-up.

This training has been an eye-opener for me. My first order of business is to change the set-up of the room while looking for a bigger space so that I can stop operating from my house. I also plan to start cooking in my daycare. Most of all, I look forward to continuing working with Tiny Totos, who have challenged and encouraged me. My dream is to one day, be among the TTK trainers onboarding new daycares as well.”

The Early Childhood Development segment impressed me

Eunice Njeri (pictured) is also a trained Early Childhood Development (ECD) teacher who has been running her Daycare in Githunguri next to Utawala estate for the last 7 years. She set up her daycare out of necessity because of a sick child. In 2014, when her second child was born, the doctors informed her that the baby would need multiple surgeries in the early years and would need round-the-clock care.

When her baby turned two, her older child joined a school in Ruai in Grade Two. Here Eunice says her daughter was subjected to consistent corporal punishment since she couldn’t communicate in English. Disheartened by the situation she began teaching both her daughter and son to read and write in English at home. “I didn’t want him to face the same thing his sister did. By the time he turned 3, he was still going through surgeries but he could read and write on his own. My son become an inspiration to my friends with slightly older children who had joined kindergarten but could barely identify words. That’s how I started taking in children of friends and they, in turn, recommended my services to others,” says Eunice.

In 2016, her friends advised her to move her daycare to Githunguri to grow her business and she took up a two-bedroom house and started her daycare with 10 children. As the numbers grew, Eunice realized that the space she chose was not feasible and had to get a larger space in her own compound in 2019. Currently, her institution has 70 children.

Despite having an already established business, Eunice admits that the TTK Bootcamp training greatly benefited her. “I knew I was doing a good job in my business but I am always open to learning and I wanted to learn where there were possible gaps in my business. I have learned to help children develop holistically. I was impressed by the training especially the material-making segment during the ECD training. I am also excited about the resource center. I look forward to working on the material and then transferring knowledge to my staff as well. I thank God for TTK.”


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