Effective early childhood development starts in families, and a family must be equipped with adequate knowledge on how to take good care of children, right from an early stage.
This was said Monday by Alphonse Munyantwali the Governor of Western Province during a ceremony to inaugurate Karambi Early Childhood Development and Family centre (ECD&F) built by Imbuto Foundation in partnership with Tamari Foundation.
Karambi ECD centre serves 120 children aged 3-6 years along with their families and over 300 other children are served from home-based clusters (groups of 10 families each) according to Imbuto Foundation.
The facility will boost nutrition, early literacy and language development, recreational activities to help lay a good foundation for the children both academically and their health.
Sandrine Umutoni, the Director General of Imbuto Foundation - an initiative of First Lady Jeannette Kagame - said that supporting early childhood centres is one sure way of taking good care of children at their early stage of life, which heavily impacts their life in adulthood and significantly contributes to the country's economic development in general.
"As Imbuto Foundation, we are committed to accelerating efforts to provide early childhood care for all children, a commitment that is premised on the conviction that having a well-groomed child is a foundation for a country's future.
"Today, it is an honour for us to inaugurate Karambi children a place where they can flourish, thanks to our trained caregivers".
She urged parents to take good care of the facility and value its services by making sure no single child is deprived of the opportunity, saying that it is in the best interest of the entire family to have a healthy and well-groomed child.
On the other hand, Nadine Umutoni the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion called for more public private partnership to establish more ECD centres across the country to enable as many children as possible to have access to such care.
On behalf of beneficiaries, Emmanuel Mbonigaba, a parent-resident of Karambi cell said that he has three children but the first two did not have a chance to get such care because there were no such programmes in the whole district.
"The benefits from the centre are numerous; my child is getting mentally sharper since the centre started offering its services.
Mbonigaba revealed that the centre has also helped settle domestic issues he used to have with his wife in front of their children.
He added that through the centre, he has since been tipped on the impact of creating a bond with his children.
"My children used to run away from me whenever I returned home from work because I felt that as the father, I had to stamp my authority in the family and that is how I would earn respect," he said, adding that today, things have changed and the children rush to hug him instead of running away from him.