Although ground-breaking documents have been published and heavily endorsed (e.g., SDGs and the LANCET series on Advancing ECD from Science to Scale series, the Nurturing Care Framework), no global document has placed sufficient emphasis on the crucial role that early childhood workforce (ECW) plays or the support that is needed for members of this group.
Since 2016, when it was launched and hosted by International Step by Step Association (ISSA) and Result for Development (R4D), the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative (ECWI) has acted as a global, multisectoral effort aiming to address the needs of the early childhood workforce within the increasing narrative around the importance of early childhood development and quality service provision for the youngest children and their caregivers. Through its work, ECWI has been instrumental to increasing the visibility of early childhood workforce, strengthening global knowledge and evidence, and advocating for recognition and better status of the workforce
To strengthen the impact of ECWI, broaden its scope of work, and become a strong and influential facilitator and convener of policy dialogue towards change and program implementation at the country, regional and cross-regional level, the hosting organizations welcomed three Regional Networks – the Asia-Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC), the Arab Network for ECD (ANECD), and the Africa Early Childhood Network (AfECN). This strong partnership builds upon ECWI’s past accomplishments, developing a stronger voice on behalf of frontline workers. Their joint efforts will translate into greater support and recognition for ECW from governments, donors, and international organizations, making them a priority on the early childhood development agenda.
Marking this new partnership, ECWI has adopted a refreshed theory of change, which includes well-defined actions for the future. These actions take place around four pillars:
- Building and sharing a knowledge and evidence base
- Advocating for the Early Childhood Workforce
- Supporting country capacity building and implementation
- Facilitating collaborative learning
Over the next years, activities will be carried out at the country, regional, cross-regional/global levels, aiming to achieve specific outcomes and fulfil ECWI’s intended impact – ensuring the early childhood workforce is recognized, well-prepared, supported and empowered to provide children and families with quality services that contribute to their wellbeing.
You can read more about this phase here. And, watch this video where ECWI Coordinator and Senior Program Manager at ISSA, Zorica Trikic, outlines ECWI’s past work, as well as the refreshed theory of change and expanded partnership.