Approximately, 42% of the Kenyan population live below the poverty line. Rapid growth and urbanization of Kenya’s population have resulted in a changing poverty and food security environment in high-density urban areas. Lack of basic food needs in Kenya affects approximately 34.8% rural population and 7.6% of its urban population. Using multi-community stakeholders such as teachers and community health workers (CHWs), this paper examined food insecurity and its consequences on caregiving practices and child development. A qualitative study design was utilized. Key informant interviews and focused-group discussions with four primary school teachers and three CHWs and a nurse in-charge working within Kariobangi and Kangemi were applied to elicit various perspectives from family-, school- and community-level challenges that influence caregiving practices and child development. Grounded theory method was applied for qualitative data sifting and thematic analysis. Our findings exposed various challenges at the school, family and the community levels that affect caregiving practices and consequent child development. School-level challenges included lack of adequate amenities for effective learning, food insecurity, absenteeism and mental health challenges. Family-level barriers included lack of parenting skills, financial constraints, domestic violence and lack of social support, while community challenges such as unemployment, poor living conditions, cultural practices, lack of social support and poor community follow-up mechanisms contributed to poor parenting practices and child development. Parenting practices and holistic child development strategies in resource poor settings should focus on parenting skills, food security, quality education and addressing parents and children’s mental health challenges.
- Child development
- Parenting practices
- Teachers and community health workers perspective