“ECCE: All Children Everywhere Innovate, Participate, Collaborate”

ECCE workshop graphic

On 11 June 2018, Child to Child hosted the “ECCE: All Children Everywhere Innovate, Participate, Collaborate” workshop at the Foundling Museum in Bloomsbury, bringing together representatives from across the development sector: from researchers and practitioners to funders and implementers. The aim of the day was to share perspectives on how children can access – and effectively participate in – quality Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE). The graphic above perfectly represents all the main points of the discussions that were held on the day – thank you to Scriberia for this amazing visual report of the workshop.


In keeping with the spirit of Child to Child, the day was intentionally designed to facilitate active participation of all who attended, and to provide the space for both debate and introspection.

We started the day with some very interesting presentations from Caroline Arnold (Aga Khan Foundation), Iliana Sarafian (Open Society Foundations), Teresa Sguazzin (Child to Child), Richard Poole (AbleChildAfrica) and Elvira Thissen (Bernard van Leer Foundation/Moving Minds) on different types of innovative Early Learning approaches. These presentations were the foundation for a round of spirited discussions, where we looked at what ECCE approaches have been (un)successful and what groups of children are still not reached.


The most interesting visual of the day was to watch participants place themselves along a rope leading from “one size fits all” to “a range of approaches is what’s needed.” Funders prioritised “system coherence,” and those from an advocacy background stressed the importance of a single “clear policy ask.” The practitioners, on the other hand, were inclined towards flexible and contextualised approaches, with room for innovation. Eventually, we came to the conclusion that while our work must be guided by some standards like the Sustainable Development Goals, we must have room to adapt in order to truly leave no child behind.

In the afternoon we focused our attention on child participation – in a session run by Rubert van Blerk from CDRA. This again led to an inspiring round of discussions, with people sharing their experiences of authentic participation and taking the opportunity to learn from each other.

What became clear from the workshop is that all participants enthusiastically welcomed the opportunity to talk about ECCE with a range of stakeholders, and starting a dialogue between funders and implementers. We hope that this session was the first of many to come.