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This study examined child labour in Edo State with focus on Benin City. This was examined on their everyday activities on the major streets and especially in the social-cultural settings in which they grew up. Oral interviews were conducted on children randomly drawn from two (2) Local Governments’ Areas in Benin City, (i.e. Oredo and Ikpoba Okha) as the sample for the study. The total number of children in the two (2) Local Government were thirty six (36) five (5) experts and adults were also interviewed. The names of the markets are Oliha market in Oredo Local Government and Oka Market in Ikpoba Okha Local Government. The research instrument used as an unstructured interview. The questions sought personal data such as name, age, home address, school etc. it also examined various aspects of the children. The findings show that many of the children suffer a lot of hardship in order to survive. The findings further reveal that majority of the children engage in hawking on the major roads, working as bus conductors, as “any work” and pushing wheel barrows I the market places.



1.1      Background of the study

Generally, the term ‘early childhood education’ could be used to describe the care and education of children from birth to about seven years of age. It is in light of this that Caldwell (2009) coined the term “educare”, to help widen the scope described. The new expansion of childhood now includes child minding centres for infants, kindergarten and nursery schools. Let us take our minds back to the word, ‘Kindergarten’. Can you remember? We first saw that word in our discussion on the historical background on the concept and practice of early childhood. Then we saw the word was actually coined by the German educator, Friedrich Froebel. In his conception, “kindergarten” literally means. “Child’s garden”. Internationally, “educare” or childcare in a group setting could be offered in a crèche, day-care or childcare centres, nursery and kindergarten schools. However, as previously noted, the usage of these terms varies from country to country, depending too on their philosophical inclination for the custodial nature of monitorial infant education. Importantly, early childhood education especially kindergarten or nursery goes beyond mere provision of childhood services; it also improves the general welfare of the child. It also improves the general welfare of the child. It is also in line with this that we will in this unit look at the place of child welfare in early childhood education, as well as parental role.

Early childhood education in most nations is also offered in day care centres, nursery and kindergarten schools. Until recently, with increasing modernity, there were two types of nursery schools in Nigeria. These are the “Akara” school and the traditional Western-type nursery and day care centres. The first was typical of low-income families. The “Akara’ school was usually poorly organised and often run by unqualified teachers. However, in more recent times, it is fast disappearing, even though there are yet in existence, sub-standard nursery schools. Formal education for the Nigerian child actually begins in nursery school or kindergarten. Formal nursery education is described by the Nigerian National Policy on Education, (NPE, 1998:11), as that school-like activity given in an institution for children aged three to five. This is with an aim to promoting school readiness. Basically, the programmes of Nigerian early childhood education could be said to provide socialization and custodial roles, and, as most parents believe, they actually aim at giving the child a head-start in formal school, the expectation is a smooth transition to the primary stage of learning. Generally, early childhood education or pre-education in the Nigerian context includes the crèche, the nursery and the kindergarten.


The research which deals with the knowledge and attitude of early childhood education students towards the study of early child education as a course of study in Colben is relatively a new department in the Nigeria educational system hence there was the problem of insufficient materials in the field.

Also, another problem of the study is the poor attention giving to early child education in Nigeria by the government as early childcare education is left in the hands of the private individuals in the country. Lack of adequate funding, infrastructure is another problem of early childcare education in Nigeria.  


The objective of the study is to find out the knowledge and attitude of early childhood education students towards the study of early child education in Colben in Ovia North East Local Government Area, Edo State.

The specific objective includes;

1.   The concept of early childhood education.

2.   The importance of early childhood education Nigerian.

3.   The role of parents in early childhood education.


1.   Does students have positive attitude towards the study of early childhood education in College of Education, Ekiadolor –Benin in Ovia North East Local Government Area?  

2.   Are the students aware of the importance of early childhood education?

3.   Does lack of adequate facilities affect early childhood education among Colben Students?

4.   Does government help to finance early childhood education in Nigeria? 

5.   Does early child education enhance the cognitive development of the child?


The following research hypotheses is formulated to aid the completion of the study;

H0: knowledge of early childhood care education does have any significant relationship between choices of course

H1: knowledge of early childhood care education does have a significant relationship between choices of course

H0: government are not financing early childhood education adequately in Nigeria

H2: government are financing early childhood education adequately in Nigeria


The study of early childhood education differ from country to country. Essentially, day care and crèches provide supervision and care for infants and young ones during the day time so that their parents can hold their jobs. This first phase of childcare and education is from birth or 3 months to 3 years. The first idea of day care centres were warm, safe environments where children could be cared for. It was also aimed at creating opportunities for these young toddlers to interact. In other words, besides the custodial roles played by day care centres and day nursery, there has been increasing evidence that young children in such centres can benefit substantially from involvement in some form of playful learning activities.

Early childhood education is also important in fostering children’s cognitive and physical development. This is outside the expected custodial roles. In the same vein, the aim of childcare from birth till 3 years in Argentina centres on social and psycho-emotional development. On the other hand, Nursery schools or kindergarten actually known as Maternal Schools are designed to promote intellectual and social experiences for children. Like it is with the case in day care or day nursery, the objectives of nursery school also emphasizes social skills and at other times, there is focus on intellectual development. Significantly, for Nursery schools that follow the Montessorian ideal, the objective is to employ a carefully designed set of materials, so as to create an environment that fosters sensory, motor and language development.


The study is set out to determine the attitude and knowledge of students towards the study of early childhood education in College of education, Ekiadolor-Benin, Edo State. Therefore, the study is restricted only to Colben student in Ovia North East Local Government Area, Edo State.


Abuse: Any violation of a child’s right or anything contrary to what principals of 417 and 9 of the un-declaration of 1`959 on children is more or less child abuse.

 Any Work: A slang given to children running errands in the University Benin Campus for gratification.

Conductor: A person who calls for the passengers and collect fares on bus.

Networking: Is a process of fishing out organizations working in any area of child abuse and neglect and child welfare and linking up one another. Data is also provided to needful organizations in terms of opportunities, seminars source of funds and what areas are open for new initiatives for the promotions of the rights of children.

Pidgin: An English variant widely spoken among Nigerians, especially I the southern part of the country.

Tukituki: A ten seater commuters bus used as a means of transportation in Benin City.  

Under Age: refers to a person under the age of fourteen (14) years or person who has attained the age of fourteen (1`4) years and is under the age of eighteen (18) years.  

Union Dues: It is a daily contribution pay by the drivers to the various association controlling the motor park and the local government authority.


This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows

Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.  Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study       

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