Early Childhood Care & Development Programme

The focus of the Regional Early Childhood Care and Development program is young children age zero to eight. The program adopts a holistic integrated approach to early childhood care and development. Its activities emphasize children’s rights in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Strategic aim

The importance of early childhood is recognized and invested in, in the countries covered by the programme.


  1. The holistic, integrated and inclusive approach is disseminated, integrated into the practice of partners and collectively further developed.

  2. The collective work of local partners is strengthened.

  3. Partners’ ability and willingness to facilitate parents’ ownership of programs is increased.

  4. Partners’ ability to develop programs and initiatives targeting children from conception to 3 years is strengthened.

  5. Advocacy for the holistic, integrated and inclusive approach is initiated.

  6. A monitoring and evaluation system for the ECCD programme is established.

Areas of Focus today

  1. Education

  2. Inclusion

  3. Protection

  4. Participation



Current Projects:

  1. Supporting children with learning disability

  2. Supporting children with academic delays

  3. Conflict resolution in early childhood

  4. Holistic Integrated Approach to early childhood

  5. Inclusive education and diversity

  6. Post conflict psych-social support

  7. Supporting children under emergencies

  8. Active learning

  9. Child protection

  10. Child to child in early childhood

Key Advocacy Messages

Four CORNERSTONES to Secure a Strong Foundation for Young Children:

  1. CORNERSTONE 1: Start at the beginning
    Integrate early stimulation, child development, and parenting information into prenatal,
    early health, nutrition, and education services by:
    • Providing access to parenting programs that address holistic child development,
     particularly for the most vulnerable families;
    • Improving services for young children and families including early stimulation, health, nutrition and child care.

  2. CORNERSTONE 2: Get ready for success
    Ensure access to at least two years of quality early childhood programs prior to formal school entry, beginning with the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children.

  3. CORNERSTONE 3: Improve primary school quality
    Increase investments and improve the transition from home or preschool to primary school and the quality of learning in Grades 1-3 by:
    • Providing teachers with knowledge about early childhood during in-service and pre-service training,
    • Giving children adequate learning materials, and
    • Ensuring smaller sized classes.

  4. CORNERSTONE 4: Include early childhood in policies
    Address Early Childhood in all national policies and plans across sectors, including Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), Common Country Assessment’s (CCA’s),  UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), Education for All Plans (EFA), and Fast Track Initiative Plans (FTI). Assure adequate resources and multi-sectoral coordination by ensuring that Early Childhood is integral to development and macroeconomic planning and budgeting.