Residents of Muhororo Sector, Ngororero District have been urged to take their children aged between 0-6 years to the Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD&F) inaugurated on Wednesday in the area.
The centre in Muhororo will ensure child’s physical, mental, intellectual and social growth, according to officials from UNICEF and Imbuto Foundation.
The centre was built with the donation from Aer Lingus, an Irish flight company at a cost of Rwf132 million.
This is the 14th child development centre launched in the country.
It is expected to open its doors to toddlers at the end of the month.
It will receive over 570 children.
Since 2013, new centres in different districts of the country now receive over 6,400 children.
The Muhororo facility has three learning rooms, a kitchen, sanitary rooms, playgrounds (to be equipped with a variety of sports tools) , among others.
Early childhood is a period from birth up to 6 years of age and a critical window of opportunity for a child’s cognitive, social, emotional and physical development, according to UNICEF.
When effective and responsive care by the family is combined with access to early childhood development services, a child’s chances of attaining an optimal level of development are greatly enhanced, it says.
Michael Banda, ECD chief at UNICEF Rwanda observed that children are like seeds and for them to grow healthy and be productive they need proper nurturing.
Speaking on behalf of Imbuto Foundation, Freya Declercq, the ECD director said it is a great privilege to get such a facility that comes to change the lives of children in Ngororero District.
“We want you (parents) to take the responsibility of bringing your children to the centre on time and give your contribution so that the services at the centre are offered smoothly.
‘‘Imbuto promises to provide teaching aids, materials, professional caregivers, among others to make sure the children get appropriate care that they need while at the centre, ”she said.
Josephine Batamuriza, a mother of five, registered her 4-year-old child at the centre.
She said it is a great opportunity to get such a facility that will benefit their children by giving them education at an early age.
“My children used to begin school at 7 years or older because we had no centre like this one,” she said.
Batamuriza said she is also ready to learn different skills from the centre such as preparing a healthy meal, taking good care of children, among others.
Approved in 2011, the Early Childhood Development (ECD) policy aims to promote holistic development of all children in Rwanda through provision of integrated health, nutritional, early stimulation and learning, and protection services to families, communities and children between 0-6 years to ensure improved quality and equal access by all infants in Rwanda.