Perceptions of caregivers on their role in stimulating child development in a low socio-economic community

Kometsi, Malikomo
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The research was conducted in a low-socio economic community. The population of the study was the primary caregivers of the children aged three to five that were enrolled at the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre which was poorly resourced. Play is the primary occupation in childhood, and the means through which children learn and develop. The situational circumstances in the community and the lack of resources at the ECD centre had prohibited these children from engagement in occupations of meaning. These children were occupationally deprived, thus could not reach their full developmental potential. The study aimed to explore the perceptions of primary caregivers on their roles in the stimulation of normal milestone development for their children as preschoolers in local ECD centre in a low socio-economic status community. The research purpose was to break the negative cycle of occupational deprivation through active involvement of the caregivers. It was therefore vital to understand the caregivers’ involvement and their own perceptions regarding stimulation of developmental milestones so as to meet them where they are in the development of context specific interventions for prevention of developmental delays. The methodology used was qualitative research and the design a descriptive study. Methods of data collection were semi-structured interviews with 10 primary caregivers and the ECD practitioner. The interviews were done in the caregivers’ home language of Setswana and transcribed in Setswana. The interviews were analysed through thematic data analysis, originally in Setswana. The themes and selected codes were translated into English. Three themes emerged which included the caregivers’ perception of their role in stimulation, facilitators and barriers for stimulation and lastly how the caregivers perceived their involvement in the ECD centre where their children were enrolled. The caregivers expressed their willingness to stimulate their children, but the unavailability of educational resources came as a barrier. With regards to their involvement in the ECD centre, they expressed their dissatisfaction over the non nutritious menu served daily as a well as lack of comfortable bedding. The lack of communication between the caregivers and ECD practitioner regarding progress of the children, was the biggest concern for both parties. The ECD practitioner and the caregivers mutually found the meeting as a starting point to discuss matters of concern. Caregiver involvement would be improved through collaboration with the occupational therapist for context specific interventions.
A research report submitted to the Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Occupational Therapy
Kometsi, Malikomo Saraphina (2019) Perceptions of caregivers on their role in stimulating child development in a low socio- economic community, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <>