FACTORS INFLUENCING QUALITY OF CATERING SERVICES IN CHILDREN DAY CARE CENTRES, NYERI COUNTY, KENYA
|CGMP||Current Good Manufacturing Practices|
|CSIRO||Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization|
|FAO||Food and Agriculture Organization|
|FSANZ||Food Standards Australia New Zealand|
|GMPs||Good Manufacturing Practices|
|HACCP||Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point|
|UNICEF||United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund|
|Child||Refers to category of human being who has not attained 18 years of age (Constitution of Kenya). In this study this will refer to children that attend day care and those particularly below 5 years|
|Day care Centers
|They are licensed business premises where children are taken to spend part of their time when parents or caregivers are engaged to other activities. It will refer to the same in the study.|
|Quality||Refers to the standard of something, how good or bad of a good or service (oxford advanced learner’s dictionary). According to this study quality entails balanced diet of a meal and how it has been produced and served/ presented to the client|
|Catering service centers||Refers to an approved food establishment to offer catering services|
|Catering Service||Refers toan approved food establishment that does any of the food flow system which includes purchasing, storing, preparation, production and service of food item|
|Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points||Refers to a system that identifies potential microbiological chemical or physical hazards and determines control measures to ensure food safetyor assessment based on identifying significant biological chemical or physical hazards at specific points within a product’s flow (Servsafe,2012)|
|HACCP certification||According to this study it means a daycare acquired the requirements by ISO 9001 -2005 HACCP requirements and recognized by satisfying body. This is done after the day care applies to a satisfying body and after audit finding, they are recognized by c certificate.|
|HACCP adherence||According to the study it means that the daycare centre abide by with HACCP principles|
|according to this study refer to rules and regulation laid by the government in relation to day care center about catering services offered|
|Training||Refers to process impartation of specialized knowledge and skills to learners. In this study it entails formal or informal of training of staff catering services either formal or informal|
|Refer to any ingredients/ food items supplied to enhance production of a certain meal|
Global, there is a general increase in the growth of childcare services due to modernization and tough economic conditions that require parents to be involved in various type of employment. Consequently, day care centers areincreasing in importance as an alternative avenue where children can spend part of their time. Many day cares are increasingly offering catering services. The purpose of this study was to examine factors influencing quality of catering service in children day care centers in Nyeri Town Constituency, Nyeri County.Special focus was on: effect of government policies; effect of HACCP adherence; effect of level of staff training; and effect of quality of raw materials. The study used a descriptive research design and adopted System Theory in evaluation of HACCP principles adherence in the provision of day care catering services. Purposive sampling method was used to identify the constituency to be studied as well as day care catering personnel. All legally registered 16 daycare centers were used in the study(Census).In total 64 respondents, comprising a manager and three catering staffs from each establishment were included in the study.The study used quantitative and qualitativeapproachesto data collection and analysis. An interviewguide was also used to collect information from the catering staff. Secondary data were obtained through a desk study of relevant documents including government policies, institutional strategic plans, minutes and admission lists. Quantitative data were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) computer software program. Both descriptive and regression analysis were conducted.Regression analysis was conducted to determine the strength of the association between the variables under the study. Coefficient of determination was calculated to indicate variations in the dependent variable as caused by the independent variable. The results were presented using frequency distribution tables, bar charts and pie charts for quantitative data and thematic areas for qualitative data, The study found that day care centers purchased food from reputable or reliable suppliers (67.2% of respondents), at the right time (59%), and of good quality (55.7%), day care centers staff served delicious and enough food (69.2%), raw materials (ingredients) were readily available((57.4%) and easily transported in the correct package and therefore were of high quality (49.2%).However, food of different types was stored in the same storage rooms (55.7%).Hygiene in the preparations and handling of foodis average (50.8%)but cooking was not done until all the ingredients were ready to be served (45.9%). Cooked food was re-heated few minutes before serving (49.2%), the level of training for catering staff was low ((70.5%) and that they also lacked good professional skills and hands on experience(54.1%). There is low adherence and enforcement to the rules and regulations from the government on quality of catering services(42.3%), and a number of staff donot understand the government requirements on quality of catering food(56.7%).Based on these results, the study recommends that: 1)government should enforce policies on quality of catering services in the day care centers through inspection; 2) all day care centers should seek certification and implement HACCP and equivalent systems of food handling control and hygiene; and 3) staff should be educated and trainedon expectation of food catering.This research advances knowledge related to day care catering services, informs practice and management of day care services, and provides useful data and information to guide government policy and regulation relevant to the handling and control of hygiene. It has added new knowledge to hospitality industry as well as advanced knowledge and theory in hospitality studies.The study recommends areas of future researches.
Day care services first appeared in France in 1840 and were recognized by the French Government. Originating in Europe in the late 18th and 19th Century, private charities established day cares centers in United States by in the 1850. At childcare/day care centers children are taken care of during the day by a person other than the child’s legal guardian. It is reported that there is a general increase in the growth of childcare services all over the world. This increase is global with a substantial proportion of children in both United States and Canada receiving care in childcare centers (Omar, Nazir, Abu, & Zoharah, 2009). This high level of participation in childcare centers is attributed to an increasing awareness that early childhood centers are considered a critical support in the development of young human being to become useful citizens (Tee & Richardson, 2007). In addition, more and more parents are engaged in employment and the need to equip their children with skills to cope with the future is in demand.
Many parents understand the critical need for appropriate childcare necessary for proper growth. Research has shown that among other things quality protection, stimulation and learning opportunities provided at home by parents and caregivers, or through childcare centers have a positive and long-lasting impact on a young child’s ability to develop its full potential. These findings make it essential that parents/guardians consider the quality of care their children receive. UNICEF, (2007) attests that a family provides a child with the most important environment in which to grow and flourish. This is by providing them with interactions from where they are socialized on their culture and values that help them to make sense of life. This upbringing lays a foundation for the child’s later stages of development.
A paper done by Simiyu, (2013) showed that the most important trends in developing countries in the modern world are the increase in the number of women joining the workforce. This results from modernization and tough economic conditions requiring women to get involved in either formal or informal employment. For many of these women, increased involvement in informal and formal employment, while bringing the much-needed income to their families, creates conflicts in reconciling income-earning activities and traditional childcare responsibilities. This hence creates the need to come up with child day care services to assist working parents balance the two crucial roles of caring for the child while at the same time making a living without straining. For illustration, establishment of day care centers at workplace in Pakistan proved to be the best way for working mothers in facilitating them to balance work and family lives (Simiyu, 2013).
In any day care centre, a setup of catering services is an important aspect. This entails purchasing, receiving, storing, preparation, cooking, holding, cooling, reheating, and serving food. This path that food takes from purchasing to serving is called the flow of food (Servsafe, 2012). Previous research has shown that catering setups must provide foods that are gastronomically acceptable, covering the nutritional needs of the persons intended for and conforming to a given price. However, the catering set ups must be safe for the consumer and in no way should they serve as a route of risk to human health, which could lead to disease. This is particularly relevant when one considers the high quantity of prepared meals served daily by the catering industry to children in schools, hospital patients, and elderly people living in nursing homes (FEADRS, 2009).
To obtain safe food, catering setups have to implement a food safety management system based on the principles of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) (CAC, 2003). However, the difficulties in implementing this system in small and medium catering enterprises are well-known (Bas, Yuksel, and Cavusoglu, 2007. Herath and Henson, 2010); Therefore, a flexible application of HACCP has been proposed (Taylor, (2008) in form of promoting the good manufacturing practices establishing prerequisite programs such as cleaning and disinfection procedures for surfaces and equipment, and controlling truly decisive critical limits such as temperature/time during and after food dispensation. It has also been demonstrated that training of staff is an essential part of self-control systems in order to improve food handlers’ knowledge regarding food safety (Pontello, Dal Vecchio, Doria, & Bertini, 2005). Therefore, the need for training catering personnel is recognized by European legislation (EC, 2004) and by international organizations (CAC, 2003).
Babies need lots of care and affection in the early years (Factor for Life Global, 2016). Home away from home environment of a child has a strong influence on child’s competences prior to schools entry (Kerry, Zeenat, Dhuey, & Akbari, 2015). In retrospect, catering services offered in day care centers helps the development of a child. Therefore, all childcare services have a responsibility to promote good nutrition for children in their care. Childcare centers and all staff should be familiar with hygiene standards, nutrition principles for children, and food safety laws (Better Health, 2016). Intake of adequately nutrients is of more importance to retain normal growth and development of the body, thus meal time, type of food and quantities of food served to children is of great importance.
The catering services offered in day care centers are affected by various factors which include: implementation of hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) system (FAO, 2016); training of the staffs or service providers on catering courses; government policies laid down as well as quality raw materials. However, from previous researches done, there is no evidence of a study addressing on knowledge application on food safety and catering requirements. This study seeks to fill in this gap by examining factors influencing quality of catering services in day care centers with a special focus in Nyeri Town Constituency based Nyeri County, Kenya.
It is reported that there is a general increase in the growth of childcare services all over the world. This increase is global with a substantial proportion of children in both United States and Canada receiving care in childcare centers (Omar, Nazir, Abu, & Zoharah, 2009). Establishment of day care centers at workplace in Pakistan proved to be the best way for working mothers in facilitating them to balance work and family lives (Simiyu, 2013). This growing need for provision of day care centers in developing countries including Kenya is on the rise. Currently in Kenya, few employers like Safaricom have put up day care services for their employees. Most of the working parents have to seek services of private day care centers from where their children can be taken care of. Although day care services are on the rise in Kenya as it is the case worldwide, there was no evidence of research on guidelines for quality of catering services in day care centers. Furthermore, it was not known to what extent policy guidelines that Nyeri County government has put in place on day care centres in relation to catering services offered. This research therefore, intended to examine factors influencing quality of catering services in day care centers in an effort to address knowledge application on food safety and catering requirements with special focus on the extent of adherence to HACCP principles; staff level of training, government policies governing provision of catering services and quality of raw materials received in the various child day care centers.
The main objective was to examine the factors influencing quality of catering service in children day care centers in Nyeri Town Constituency, Nyeri County Kenya
The study was guided by the following specific objectives:
- To determine the level of implementation of HACCP principles on quality of catering services at day care centers in Nyeri Town Constituency, Nyeri County, Kenya.
- To find out the effect of staff level of training on quality of catering services at day care centers in Nyeri Town Constituency, Nyeri County, Kenya.
- To evaluate the effect of relevant government policies on quality of catering services at day care centers in Nyeri Town Constituency, Nyeri County, Kenya.
- To examine the effect of raw materials’ on quality of catering services at day care centers in Nyeri Town Constituency, Nyeri County, Kenya.
- Does the level of implementation of HACCP principles affect quality of catering services at day care centers in Nyeri Town Constituency, Nyeri County, Kenya?
- To what extent does the level of staffs training affect quality of catering services at day care centers in Nyeri Town Constituency, Nyeri County, Kenya?
- How do relevant government regulations influence quality of catering services at day care centers in Nyeri Town Constituency, Nyeri County, Kenya?
- How do the raw materials influence quality of catering services at day care centers in Nyeri Town Constituency, Nyeri County, Kenya?
This study has significance to the current and upcoming parents since it has provided information to them on the quality of catering service they should expect in the various day cares centers as well as provided insight into whether the day care centers adheres to the HACCP principles. This could help them in making informed choices on the day care centers to opt for. Implementation of its recommendations could benefit proprietors of day care centers because it would equip them with knowledge on application of HACCP and the different factors influencing the quality of catering services in their institutions. With this information, they could provide control measures for the different factors and enhance adherence to HACCP principles thus improve on the quality of services which would eventually lead to increased number of customers and subsequently, increased revenues. The research has also provided insights to the county government on the need to streamline adherence to government policies relating to day care centers. The research has added to body of knowledge on hospitality, that could benefit scholars interested in quality of catering services in the various sectors of the economy.
Development and growth of a child depend to a great extent on what they consume as food. For a good development of a child there is need to consider the quality of food he or she takes. This is in relation to nutritional value, quantities per intake, quality in relation to cleanness, methods of cooking and its presentation to the child. This study focused on day care centre’s in those area/ places, in which most parents take their young children to spend part of their day time. The study intended to find out the food safety and the nutrition value of the food offered at the day care centers.
The study was limited to licensed children day cares centers located within Nyeri Town Constituency in Nyeri County. The study found out the implementation of HACCP principle, government policies, staff training levels and the raw materials in relation to the quality of catering services.
The researcher sought an approval letter from the University to carry out the research for academic purpose and a government permit seeking approval to carry out the research in Nyeri Town Constituency, Nyeri County. The researcher treated the information given by the respondents as strictly confidential. The intended respondents were the day care managers and the staffs working on the catering sections in each day care centre. Data collected was used solely for the purpose of the said study and not for any other self-serving reason. The researcher also sought to explain as much as possible the purpose of the research to the respondents.
Quality of catering service in day care centre is influenced by HACCP principle, level of staff training, Government policies and quality of raw materials. This chapter focuses on the theoretical literature, empirical literature and the conceptual framework. It identifies other studies carried out by different researchers on factors influencing quality of catering services in children day care centers. The study was guided by system theory.
This theory was developed (1973) by Ludwig Von Bertalanffy. It states that accepting the essential reason or system that cause things to operate the way they do, is very important to any effort to change the system outcome. As observed by McShane and Von Glinow, (2003) and highlighted by Chikere and Nwoka, (2015) while studying the systems theory of management in modern day organizations, any organizational management systems consist of many internal subsystems that need to be continually aligned with each other. These systems become more complex as the organizations grow and hence call for continued coordination of the sub systems to ensure success in the process of transforming inputs to outputs. This is affirmed by Weihrich, (2008) who argues that organization receives inputs, transforms them and gets outputs as the final product whose level of quality can be determined. On a similar notch, Amobi and Nnabuife, (1999) revealed that the systems theory has been likened by management experts to the three stages of production process of an organization activity.
Systems are usually made up of four major elements:
- Input (the energy or material that goes into the system)
- Processes (the actions that happen within the system that transforms the input)
- Output (what results from the processes)
- Feedback (the information that is produced that can be used to evaluate and monitor the system)
In system theory, it is important to remember the whole is more than the sum or its parts. Dynamic interactions among the parts can often result in characteristics of the whole that are not the same as the characteristics of the separate parts. Change in one part of the system may affect the other parts or the whole: for example of a HACCP system and food safety.
In the current research, the factors under consideration illustrate the input and transformation process through to output. Input is represented by supply. Supply is where the food items originate (various sources of raw materials); this could be a farm where produce is grown, a sea from which fish are harvested, butchery, open air market, wholesalers or supermarkets Distribution includes everything from storage and warehousing, repacking, reprocessing, and transport to the next point in the continuum. Sometimes distribution involves multiple points. Dispensation/Production includes all the steps along the food chain that prepare a food item for distribution. In produce food items, this encompasses everything from, receiving from the store, preparation and cooking. Point of final service includes every service of the final product of food item to the children.
According to this study food flow is a system and if affected at any stage, the output shall also be affected
R- Receiving of goods
S- Storing the goods
P-Preparation of goods
C-Cooking of the prepared food items
C –Cooling of the prepared food where necessary
R- Re heat of the cooled food items
H-Holding the reheated food for service
A-Assemble of the food item to the service equipment e.g. a plate
S- Serving of food to the patrons.
The flow of food service will enable evaluation of HACCP as a management system in day care centers. The system ensures food safety is practiced in all stages to control hazard, risk for the product.
HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. For successful implementation of a HACCP plan, management must be strongly committed to the HACCP concept. A firm obligation to HACCP by top management is to provide business employees with a sense of the importance of producing quality food which is safe HACCP system is designed for use in all segment of the food industry from growing, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, distributing, merchandising and preparing food for consumption. Prerequisite programs such as Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs) are an essential foundation for the development and implementation of successful HACCP plans (U.S Food & Drug Administration, 2014).
Before implementing HACCP, basic food hygiene conditions and practices (requirements / prerequisites) must be in place in a food catering setups. HACCP will then be used to manage steps in the catering businesses which are critical in ensuring the preparation of safe food. Prerequisites include where appropriate: Cleaning and Sanitation, Maintenance, Personnel Hygiene, Pest Control, Plant and Equipment, Premises and Structure Services (compressed air, ice, steam, ventilation, water etc.). In addition, it involves distribution and transport waste management zoning (physical separation of activities to prevent potential food contamination) (Food Safety Authority, 2008).
Like many careers, catering takes a combination of training, hard work, and carefully honed skills to succeed. While there is much in common with being a chef, caterers face many additional challenges. Caterers have to handle such business matters as accounting, marketing and customer relations, in addition to the quality of the food (Directory of Nationwide Catering Companies, 2001). Some chefs and head cooks train on the job, where they learn the same skills as in a formal education program. Some train in mentorship programs, where they work under the direction of an experienced chef. Executive chefs, head cooks, and sous chefs who work in upscale restaurants often have many years of training and experience (Collegegrad, 2016).
In hospitality and catering industry, customer service training is arguably the most vital category of instruction that management and employees ever receive. Businesses in this field include hotels and resorts, conference centers, cruise lines and restaurants all of which exist to serve people. The guests who frequent the business expect to be treated in specific ways, and employees need to know how to meet those expectations (Reynolds, 2016).
The importance of employee training doesn’t end with new workers. Manager training and development is equally important to workplace safety, productivity, and satisfaction. Among the most useful skills that can be addressed are manager communication, employee motivation, and employee recognition (BLR, 2016). Firms should consider employing someone either part-time or full-time to do training of new staff members and run ongoing training for regular staffers. This trainer’s responsibility is to not only basically train, but to provide on-the-job training during events. This is an additional expense, but it will pay off in the long run with improved service levels and will ultimately lead to more revenue as guests begin to talk about the great service they received by the firm (Hansen, 2013).
Major success would be restoring public trust & the satisfaction and pride staff feel in their work. Resource limitations and inequities, inadequacy of skills and motivation can result in failure to implement changes (Marshall & Msibi, 2013).
Compared to some industries, the hotels and catering sector is subject to less regulation and government intervention. However, the sector is now being directly affected by initiatives and legislation in areas relating to smoking, alcohol consumption and food safety and labeling. For the sector as a whole, the primary difficulty is to unite against proposed legislation that is not in their favour. However, this could create conflicts between employers and workers, firms of different size, among others. Dialogue between different parties is therefore crucial for defining the sector’s own policy objectives in order to inform the sector’s representatives, such as Hotels. Beyond this, the challenges would be to lobby for legislation to be as favorable to the sector as possible, and then implement it as efficiently as possible (Hay, 2005).
Government responsibility is to protect and advance the wellbeing of society includes the delivery of high-quality health care. This is because the market alone cannot ensure all Americans access to quality health care; the government must preserve the interests of its citizens by supplementing the market where there are gaps and regulating the market where there is inefficiency or unfairness. The crucial goal of achieving high quality of care will require strong partnerships among federal, state, and local governments and the private sector. Translating general principles regarding the appropriate role of government into specific actions within a rapidly changing, decentralized delivery system will require the combined efforts of the public and private sectors (Tang, Einsenberg, & Meyer, 2004).
The quality policy is the framework for determining and reviewing quality objectives. The policy is carried out as part of regular annual management reviews. Quality policy is fulfilled by achieving the following long-term objectives; better planning, consistent adherence to priority tasks, improving documentation, ensuring systematic monitoring and directing processes, results and tasks, increasing employee and client satisfaction (ARSO, 2016).
Caterer warrants, represents, and agrees that Caterer and all individuals assigned to provide Services will obtain and maintain, at Caterer’s own cost, any and all approvals, licenses, filings, registrations and permits required by Applicable Law for the performance of the Services including, but not limited to, all required food handling permits (Utsa Catering Terms Of Agreement, 2016).
Producing safe food is essential to any business’s success, as customers will expect that your food products are safe. One must be able to verify the safety and quality of your products to export markets and other businesses that you supply your products to, such as manufacturers, retailers and fast food franchises (Queensland Government, 1995).
The European Commission’s food legislation 48 aims to ensure a high level of protection of human life and health and takes into account the protection of animal health and welfare, plant health and the environment. To ensure food safety the EC has legislation on food marketing, food standards, the labeling of food, food imports, genetically modified foods, control measures for the prevention of BSE and Salmonella and limits on pesticide residues. The EC Regulation establishes the principle that the primary responsibility for ensuring compliance with food law, and in particular the safety of food, rests with food businesses. To complement and support this principle, adequate and effective controls are organized by the competent authorities of the EU Member States (World Health Organization, 2002).
.Raw materials in this case reffers to all ingredients required inorder to produce a certain food item.Water should not be wasted, running and leaky taps should be switched off. Fuel should not be wasted gas cylders ,charcoal firewoord and other sources of fuel should be controled on how the are being used to save on cost. In addition food should not be wasted (Need Resource Management, 2016).
One of the fundamental principles of good cuisine is the use of high-quality ingredients. Even if you have a great recipe with the steps, ingredients, and cooking methods and conditions clearly stated, the dish will not turn out quite right, or even safely, if the ingredients used are not what they purport to be and if they are not fresh (that is, not expired) and clean (that is, not contaminated with chemicals or microbes). The span of ingredients can include the main ingredient (say, chicken) as well as all the spices. Sometimes just changing the brand (that is, changing the supplier) of an ingredient may be enough to affect the “quality,” or taste, of the food (MARS, 2012).
The use of the Best Environmental Practices Guide for hotels is intended to be simple and practical. The Guide provides the means to identify, in the different departments of a hotel, opportunities for optimizing its activities while reducing its operating costs and its environmental impacts (Reuland, 2008).
Software programs such as Cater ease are available to assist with catering planning, sales, booking and marketing. Many programs can generate letters, quotes and invoices as well. If you’ll offer off-site catering, you might consider partnerships with full-time caterers. These professionals can manage off-site catering’s more challenging aspects while acting as a joint partner in marketing efforts. With the right knowledge, planning and execution, you can grow in a way that caters to both your business and your customers (NRA, 2012).
Figure 2:2 Conceptual framework
This chapter covers the research design, the study area, target population, how data was collected, means of ensuring validity and reliability of data collected as well as data analysis and presentation.
Research design is defined as the plan, structure of investigation conceived so as to obtain answers to research questions and to control for variance (Ng’ang’a, Kosgei, & Gathuthi, 2009). According to Royse (2011) a research design is a “blue print” of the research. It is the “action plan for getting from here to there” where “here” is the question to be answered and “there” is the conclusion “answers about these questions”. He notes that an action plan should guide the researcher in the process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting data. Further, he argues that a research design is the logic that links the data to be collected and the conclusion to be made to the initial questions of study.
The current study adopted descriptive research design. Descriptive research design is a method of collecting information by interviewing or administering questionnaires to the sample of individuals (Orodho, 2005). This study made use of self-administered questionnaires and interviews using interview checklist, as instruments for primary data collection. Secondary data was collected though desk study analysis of existing literature on existing government policies that relate to quality of catering services in child day care centers.
This study was carried out in Nyeri Town Constituency, Nyeri County, Kenya. Nyeri Town Constituency was selected because the area is diverse and cosmopolitan in nature. In addition, the constituency hosts the headquarters for Nyeri County and hence houses most of the key offices of the devolved unit as compared to other constituencies in the county. The constituencies also have a high concentration of institutions of higher learning, banks, and major business enterprises including children day care centers. Hence it offered rich ground for data collection for the research.
The study targeted all 16 day care centers in Nyeri Town Constituency which are licensed to operate. A total of 64 respondents were targeted which included the managers of the day care centers and three staff members working in catering sections as follows: stores, production and service formed the respondents.
This study employed purposive sampling technique in selecting the constituency in the county where research was carried out. A purposive sample is a non-probability sample that is selected based on characteristics of a population and the objective of the study. Given that there are only sixteen legally registered daycare centers in the selected constituency, a census survey was employed in carrying out the research. A census is the procedure of systematically acquiring and recording information from all the members of a given population. Data collected through census takes into account the entire targeted population account and is likely to be more accurate. In addition, a population of 16 day care centers is very small to be sampled further.
Probability sampling was used to identify respondents from the selected population of study. A representative sample provides valid and credible results since they reflect the characteristics of the population from which they are selected. The current study aimed at reaching the manager, and three staff members working in the catering department as follows: stores, production and service area respectively in each of the day care centers. This study targeted sixty four (64) respondents comprising of four (4) respondents from each of the sixteen (16) legally licensed day care centers in Nyeri Town Constituency, Nyeri County.
In carrying out this research, mixed methods of data collection were employed to collect quantitative (numeric data) and qualitative data (interview data). Mixed methods ideally include benefits of both qualitative and quantitative. Whereas quantitative data may be collected via measures such as self-reports and physiological tests, qualitative data are collected via focus groups, structured or semi structured interviews, and other forms (Creswell, 2013). Primary data was obtained through use of questionnaires and interviews. In this study quantitative data was obtained by use of a self administered questionnaire while qualitative data was obtained through interviews.
Questionnaires are appropriate as they provided a standard set of questions for all the respondents regarding the sought information. Only one questionnaire was administered to each target respondent. Drop and pick methods were used to distribute and collect the completed questionnaires. An interview standard checklist was used to gather more information related on food safety and measures put in place to enhance quality of catering services offered. An interview is an oral administration of a questionnaires or an interview schedule. This is a face-to-face encounter between the researcher and respondents (Mugenda & Mugenda, 1999). Collecting secondary data involved analyzing of: county government policies relating to day care centers, institutional strategic plans and other institutional documents including minutes and admission lists. The study also employed observation to cross check information obtained through interviews and questionnaires.
The study employed questionnaires and interview schedule as the instrument to carry out the research. Questionnaires were open and closed ended. Likert’s five-point scale was used to measure implementation of HACCP, staff’s level of training, Government policies and quality of available raw materials. Open-ended question were used to give an open discussion on other areas related to the research that had not been addressed by the closed ended questions.
According to Royse, 2011 an instrument is said to be valid when it measures the construct it was designed to measure, which in practice means it helps to demonstrate the scale performance. On the other hand, Odesso (2012) defines reliability as “the extent that the instrument measures whatever it is measuring consistently, or after repeated tests.
A pilot study was conducted before the actual data was collected. The pilot study was done from other areas not included in the actual research area. This was with the aim of testing the validity and reliability of the research instruments. The pretest was used to make necessary changes in the questionnaire and the interview checklist in order to enhance its validity. In addition, the questionnaire and interviews were shared with experts for their expert opinion and recommendations upon which arising therewith were incorporated.
Best and Kahn (2005) as quoted by Odesso, (2012) defines reliability as “the extent that the instrument measures whatever it is measuring consistently”. Reliability of the scales used in the research instrument was evaluated for consistency. This was achieved through a statistical analysis for reliability of the construct. Split-half technique was appropriate for this study over other methods like test retest because it takes care of changes in times and circumstance. The Cronbach’s reliability coefficient of 0.7 and above was considered adequate for this study. This is on line with the rule of thumb in research that reliability should be at least 0.70 (Orodho, 2005). This study obtained a Cronbach value of 0.76 which was within the acceptable threshold.
Raw data collected from the field was analyzed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). Data was coded and entered in the SPSS program. Data cleaning was done by cross checking each response per questionnaire and the entered data and the observed frequencies in one or more categories. An alpha level of 0.05 was used as the level of significance in this study.
Quality of catering services in day care centers was regressed against the four variables namely: HACCP principle, government policies, staff training and the raw materials. The equation was being expressed as follows:
Y = β0 +β1X1 + β2X2 + β3X3 + β4X4 + Ɛ
- Y=the dependent variable (quality of catering services)
- β0 =the intercept, i.e. Y= β0, when X1, X2, X3, X4 =O
- Β1, β2, β3 and β4 are the regression coefficients describing the size of contribution of the representative independent variable (HACCP, government policies, staff training and quality of raw materials)
- X1, X2, X3, and X4 represent HACCP, government policies ,staff training respectively and quality of raw materials
- Ɛ is the error term
Coefficient of determination was calculated to indicate the explained variations in the dependent variable as caused by the independent variable.
Analysis of qualitative data involved reducing large amounts of raw data into a summary format by creating thematic areas around the factors being studied which include HACCP, government policies, staff training and quality of raw materials.
Descriptive analysis (means, standard deviation and mode) was used during analysis of data. The use of descriptive statistics aids in describing the characteristics of the participants and their views on the different aspects sought in the study. The data collected was organized and coded for analysis using statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) program version 22. The findings of the study were presented in frequencies, percentages and tables accompanied by explanations.