By Irene Best Nyapendi
Working parents continue the struggle to find a convenient, safe and responsible child care school that gives them a peace of mind as they do their jobs. For Uganda Christian University (UCU) staff members, the dilemma is less because of a high-quality Kids Care Centre on the Mukono campus.
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Deborah Mugawe, the administrator, said the Kids Care Centre offers day care to children of UCU current and former staff and students, those of UCU service providers and those recommended by the above categories. The plan is to expand the school to UCU’s general community members who subscribe to Christian values and principles.
“One can be sure of the child’s safety, good moral and Godly values as well as quality learning,” Mugawe said.
About the UCU Kids Care Centre
The Centre admits children from 1 to 6 years. They are grouped into Toddler Class (1-2 years); Baby Class (3-4); Middle Class (4-5); and Top Class (5-6). There are currently 23 children studying at the Centre that has a capacity for 60 children. School fees are about $191 for a term.
Mugawe recalled one humorous incident involving a child who submitted his workbook for grading. A young boy named Isaiah had a sentence error. He wrote “My name Isaiah” instead of “My name is Isaiah” because he thought the verb “is” was already embedded in his name.
“I love coming to school to play with my friends, to sing songs like, ‘The Lord is my shepherd’,” said five-year-old student, Nicole Kwikiriza. “I also love to write.”
The Centre incorporates play and education based on an integrated system of Uganda and basic early learning format.
How UCU staff is benefitting from the Kids Care Centre
Rev. Alex Kamoga, the assistant chaplain at UCU and a part-time lecturer at Bishop Tucker School of Divinity and Theology (BTSDT), enrolled his son, Kisakye Kamoga, at the Centre last year based on convenience and holistic learning.
“I shared a fence with the school,” said Kamoga, a resident of Tech Park. “Usually in the morning, we would see my son going to the fence to listen to the children at the school as they read the Bible and sang; that inspired me to take him there.”
Kamoga said his son is now able to count with added confidence because teachers encourage him to express himself.
“I am glad my son has learnt to pray and memorized a few verses,” he said.
The Rev. Can. Rose Ekirunga Muhumuza, a BTSDT lecturer, is a mother of two children under age five at the Kids Care Centre. Muhumuza said it was a necessity for her to take her children there when she joined UCU in 2020 because she had a two-year-old child and no nanny.
“The UCU Kids Care Centre is one of the blessings I found here. When I interacted with the teachers there, I loved the way they look after the children,” she said, adding that having her children in the centre makes her a better lecturer as it “lessons my burden” and allows her fuller concentration on teaching.
Daphine Okiria Nabimanya, who works at the UCU church relations office, recommended the school to her brother for his son – her nephew who now lives with the aunt.
“When I am busy, the teachers at the Centre look after him for me until I pick him after work,” she said. “Sometimes, I even pick him up at 7 p.m. on days when I have a lot of work.”
Nabimanya said in less than a year, there was a remarkable turnaround in the life of a boy who was shy and didn’t speak English.
“Now, he speaks English and is confident,” she said, adding. “I am happy that my nephew has learnt how to pray.”