Are Creches a Haven for Child Care or Cesspool for Infection?

  •  Olusegun T. Afolabi    
  •  Olufemi O. Aluko    
  •  Funmito O. Fehintola    
  •  Bolade K. Afolabi    
  •  Olarinde Olaniran    


The increasing number of Nigerian women in the labour force and disintegration of the extended family system, has led to demand for alternative means of caring for children. Crèche facilities serve as alternative sources of childcare. This study aimed at assessing the adequacy of crèches in a community in Nigeria to offer child care.

The study employed a descriptive cross-sectional study design; a total of 14 out of 18 crèches in the town were assessed using a checklist (78% response rate), only 62% of parents of enrolled children accepted to be interviewed while all care givers were interviewed with a questionnaire. Swab samples for microbiological analysis were collected from floors, beddings and toys in the crèches and subjected to microbiological analysis.

Less than two-fifth (38%) of caregivers had good knowledge about early childhood care. About two-thirds (65%) of the caregivers had some training in early childhood care. None of the creche had an infection control policy while a little over half (57%) had good environmental hygiene status, 93% had good safety practices and 71% had fair infection control practices. Organisms isolated are Staphylococcus aureus (59%), Aerobic spore bearer (13%) and Proteus vulgaris (5%) while 28% yielded no growth. Staphylococcus aureus was resistant to second line antibiotics and only 44% were sensitive to Gentamicin. Proteus vulgaris was resistant to most antibiotics but sensitive to Gentamicin.

Knowledge of care givers about childcare practices was poor. Infection control practice was fair despite absence of infection control policy. 

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