ECD-Centers and Home Based Project

6 year olds at the ECD Center in the Gashaki sector
6 year olds at the ECD Center in the Gashaki sector

Learning Centers and Home-based Education

A quarter of the world’s youngest children suffer one or more forms of severe deprivation and risk, such as poverty, disease, disability and exposure to violence. The government of Rwanda considers Early Childhood Development (ECD) as a priority. It has recently developed an ECD policy and strategic plan. However, the implementation of the policy and the plan to reach all children remains a long way from reality. Therefore, using their Early Childhood Development Model, CARE Rwanda seeks to establish the Centers and Home-Based Project which aims to more affectively inject the 5x5 model into communities. Acknowledging the 5 access points (food nutrition, child development, child rights/protection, economic strengthening, and health) at which orphaned and vulnerable children require increased early childhood development, CARE Rwanda hopes to use the mobilization of local learning-centers and in-home learning to better facilitate ECD. In CARE Rwanda's role to provide training and guidance to parents, this project has the following objectives and approaches:

  • ECD Centers in communities that have six volunteers on staff day-to-day. The center itself will be sustained by the support of parents, the community and CARE's efforts to create local activities that can finance the centers.
  • Children's attendance to the centers will also be complimented by a home-based approach that is solely initiated by the parents and seeks to further promote the uses of ECD services. For the home-based approach, each group is self-selecting; one family volunteers to provide an indoor room, outdoor play space and an area to store and cook nutritious porridge for the children.  Each site is fitted with hand-washing and latrine facilities.  Parents (in practice almost exclusively mothers) develop a rotating schedule in which each woman oversees the HB ECD for one morning a week.
  • Parents receive ECD teacher training to increase their knowledge about their child's needs and encourage them to utilse the methods due to the forseeable benefits
  • The ECD Centers will reach approximately 105 children under the age of 6 years old and the home-based approach has the capacity to reach 800 children in one community.
  • Scale-up opportunities envision CARE Rwanda training community members in order to create a sustainable center that can be maintained beyond CARE Rwanda's intervention and such that ECD will spread to all members of the community.
  • The overall objective is to provide a safe and secure environment so that the project supports the development of young children and reduces rates of physical and sexual abuse and neglect, as well as the rates of malnutrition and preventable diseases.

In Rwanda, OVC often live without parental guidance and financial support.  Even among those who do have responsible caretakers, many live in extreme poverty, with few options for the future, little or no food on the table, and often the impossibility of a sufficient education.  CARE Rwanda has helped change these bleak circumstances for many children in Rwanda but hopes to spread these achievements to all OVC through ECD and its centers and home-based mobilization. 


For further information, please see the attached document. To learn more about the models used for this project, please see the Models page.

Project Achievements

Throughout the implementation of the model and the scale-up project, the ECD project's achievements have seen the advancement of young children who are in vulnerable and poor house-holds so that they have the ability to start their lives in a healthy and stable environment. 

Project Info

  • Start Date: 2007 July
  • Donor: PTC & UNICEF
  • Program: Orphans and Vulnerable Children Program
  • District: Bugesera, Gakenke, Gisagara, Huye, Kamonyi, Kayonza, Kirehe, Muhanga, Musanze , Ngororero, Nyabihu, Nyamagabe, Nyaruguru, Rubavu, Ruhango, Rulindo , Rusizi, Rutsiro, Rwamagana
  • Number of beneficiaries: 12,000
  • Partners: MINEDUC


Models used:

  • Early Childhood Development Model