The Government of Uganda recognized pre-primary education as the first stage of education for all children under 8 in the Education Act of 2008. 46% of children ages 0 to 8 in Uganda are not receiving this education. Although Uganda has universal primary education (UPE), sending a child to school still requires meeting certain school fees - including paying for a child's scholastic materials, uniforms, shoes, and food - which many low-income families cannot afford.
In rural areas like Wakiso, poverty can prevent families from sending their children to school. 42% of children in this district are engaged in some form of child labor. Children staying home from school to help with house work, care for siblings, or engage in other forms of labor miss a critical stage in their development. They often lack structured supervision, do not regularly socialize with other children, and do not have access to simple toys or books to provide mental stimulation.
Additionally, one in four births in Uganda take place outside of health facilities. As a result, hundreds of thousands of children are not registered at birth, which is a vital step to accessing education, health, and legal services. This also deprives children of an official identity.
Early childhood development is a key indicator of future educational retention and success, and KIFAD believes that establishing an ECD centre in its community is a key step to ensuring better futures for these children and their families.
Community ECD centers like ours are not formal institutions, but rather a place for children who are not currently attending school to come play, develop, and grow together while their families save to send them to school. We work hard to find sponsors for the students and to educate families on the importance of their children continuing formal education after the ECD center.
The KIFAD ECD accepts children from ages three to eight and offers the following services: parenting education, health and nutrition education and care, sanitation education, and birth registration. Our teachers are certified in Early Childhood Development and our syllabus includes health habits, language development, social development, and maths. Our centre provides children a space without abuse, violence, or exploitation. Parents who register their children at the KIFAD ECD Centre should expect for their children to play lots of games and sports, listen to meaningful stories, and engage in enriching activities such as singing and dancing, all under the supervision of caring teachers.
Our work has been made possible by all who have supported the ECD Centre. We would like to thank KIFAD UK, Timeline Vocational and Business Training Centre, local volunteers, and international volunteers for all their support!
All children from conception to 8 years of age and their families in the communities feel supported, respected, appreciated, and safe to grow and develop to their full potential
In partnership with staff, parents, communities and other key stakeholders, we will strive to nurture the “whole child” to reach their full potential and ensure equitable access to quality and relevant ECD services for holistic development of all children in the communities we serve.