Is fathers’ involvement in young children’s development and learning in the early years important?

Experiences from the caregivers in Tanzania


  • Pambas Tandika Basil University of Dodoma, Tanzania
  • Laurent Gabriel Ndijuye University of Dodoma, Tanzania


Fathers, early years, child development, caregivers, Tanzania


There has been an increased interest among researchers and policy makers on fathers’ involvement and its implications on children’s wellbeing and learning. Existing empirical evidences from developed countries have documented fathers’ essential role that successfully improve children’s development and learning. However, there is dearth of evidence from developing countries especially from sub-Sahara African contexts. This study was designed to establish Tanzanian experiences particularly Kimamba village in Kilosa district on fathers’ involvement in children’s development and schooling dimensions. Descriptive exploratory study design guided collection and analysis of data of the rural context. A total of 23 fathers were recruited for focus group interviews. The analysis of data revealed that fathers had good understanding on their roles and involvement in child rearing and learning for mastering social and economic welfare of their children, families and larger population. Fathers indicate that their involvement have significant contribution on children’s development across schooling periods and later in life. Their responses range from preparing home environment and crafting home-based timetable for the child to adhere when at home after school hours. The study concludes that, in a context with limited educational resources, parenting education is important for both fathers and mothers. This may ultimately lead to closer parental involvement and collaboration in child rearing and caring. It is therefore recommends that Social Welfare Officers in collaboration with the District Education Officers and teachers should organise and run sensitization programmes to improve fathers’ involvement on children’s development and learning

Author Biographies

Pambas Tandika Basil, University of Dodoma, Tanzania

Pambas Tandika Basil is a Lecturer in the Department of Psychology in the College of Education of the University of Dodoma.  He is a teacher sand researcher.  His interests and consulting services include in Early Childhood Education, Early Literacy and Numeracy, Issues in Early Childhood Education Curriculum, Quality of Learning and Social Settings in Promoting High Quality Learning Outcomes for Young children, and Teaching and Learning Promoting Problem-Solving skills and Critical Thinking.

Laurent Gabriel Ndijuye, University of Dodoma, Tanzania

Laurent Gabriel Ndijuye is a Lecturer in the College of Education, the University of Dodoma - Tanzania. His research interests include Early Childhood Education (ECE), Early Numeracy and Literacy Acquisition Skills (ENLAS), Role of Home and School Environments on the Development of Literacy and Numeracy Skills (HLE), Immigrants and Minority Education and Pedagogy (IMEP), STEM Education, Equity and Social Justice in Early Childhood Education (ESJE)