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How well-equipped is this city for those raising infants/toddlers? Specifically, are there public places to change diapers, maintained playgrounds, etc?
You can very easily raise your children in Nairobi. Most expatriates have large houses with large gardens, and the international schools provide the children with social gatherings.
Where can I get a list of reliable childcare providers/nannies?
Domestic help can be obtained very easily, although it is strongly recommended that you only hire people with verifiable references and initially only on a trial basis (making this clear to each staff member).The ideal solution is to hire someone who has previously worked for a friend, an acquaintance or a colleague who is transferring elsewhere. After hiring an employee, it is important to create a clear record of their employment, including their full name, identity card number, date and place of birth, a photocopy of their identity card, and records of their salaries, holidays/ leave, and any loans or advances. House staff typically work a 52-hour week over six days, and are entitled to a minimum of 21 working days’ leave
with full pay each year, as well as 15 days’ paid sick leave.
Salaries and employment terms are a personal matter although, as a rule, a housekeeper or children’s ayah will expect in the region of Ksh 6,000-10,000 per month, while a gardener or casual worker might expect Ksh 200-300 per day. It is also a common Kenyan practice to give domestic staff a Christmas bonus equivalent to one month’s salary at the end of each year.
Discuss any safety issues for children in this city.
You should not leave your young children out alone in this city, as you would not in any other city.
What are the most popular kid-friendly attractions in the area?
- Nairobi National Park - open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily - diversity of wildlife and habitats
- Giraffe Center - open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily - giraffes eat out of your hand
- African Butterfly Research Institute - open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily - a fun and informative educational center for children and adults
- Splash and GP Karting - closed on Mondays - swimming pools, waterslides, crazy golf course and go-karting
What are the most popular activities for kids after school or on weekends?
Many expatriates take their family on weekend trips, exploring the country and seeing the sites. Usually they rent a house for the weekend, on a lake or in the mountains.
What's it like to be a teenager in this city? Are there any particular challenges I should be aware of as a parent?
Teenagers make most of their friends at school. There are shopping centers and attraction parks, so they will have a lot to do.
Are there any organizations/social groups in the area that cater exclusively to young people ages 12-17?
Some of Kenya’s largest hotel and lodge operators have in recent years launched a variety of children’s “safari clubs” to make their destinations more attractive to visiting families. The market leader is Heritage Hotels, which runs two clubs, the Adventurers’ Club for 4 – 12-year-olds and the Young Rangers’ Club for teenagers, offering a rich variety of educational games, wildlife-spotting walks and cultural outings from the group’s properties in the Masai Mara, Samburu, Mombasa and Naivasha. Several other hotel groups have taken up the family baton, including Sarova Hotels, whose Ozone Club hosts younger children in the Mara, Shaba and Mombasa, and Lonrho Hotels, with a Young Explorers’ Club in the Mara, the Aberdares and Mount Kenya.
I want my child to get the most out of our stay in this country. Are there any specific opportunities to teach young people about the local culture?
There are several exciting cultural and artistic events that take place every year in Nairobi. These include the Kisima Awards, which celebrate the best Kenyan musicians in a musical extravaganza at The Carnivore each June; African Cine Week, which showcases the best Kenyan and regional audiovisual productions at the French Cultural Centre and Kenyatta International Conference Centre in October; the European Film Festival, showing the best new films from Europe at the French Cultural Centre in October; and the Nairobi Theatre Extravaganza, an exciting theatrical festival organized by leading local theatre groups each December.
Visiting the local museums will teach your child most about the local culture. Also, Kenya is world-famous for its safari possibilities. It is certainly a great learning opportunity to go on a safari trip with your children.
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