The Initiative launches a new phase of work

After the development of an extended partnership and a refreshed theory of change, the Early Childhood Workforce Initiative (ECWI) partners began collaborating in a new phase of work. This phase will continue to build on past work and refine activities to ensure the early childhood workforce is recognized, well-prepared, supported and empowered to provide children and families with quality services that contribute to their wellbeing.

In the following period, with financial support from the Early Childhood Regional Networks Fund, ECWI will focus first and foremost on early childhood education and care (ECEC) staff for services from birth to primary school entry. Activities will be primarily carried out by four Regional Networks, the Asia-Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC), the Arab Network for ECD (ANECD), and the Africa Early Childhood Network (AfECN) and the International Step by Step Association (ISSA).

Closely connected with their regional priorities, ANECD and AfECN will focus on building stronger evidence for the professionalization of the ECEC workforce and advocate for it to be included on country and regional agendas. ISSA and ARNEC will work to embed themes related to staff mental health and wellbeing into the pre- and in-service training of ECEC staff and support such the scale up of such programs at country level. These priorities reflect the current needs assessed by each Regional Network. At the same time, given the diversity in the expertise and experience of having addressed various workforce challenges in their respective regions, there is a fertile space for learning and exchanges among the four Regional Network on both themes mentioned.

Activities will contribute to outcomes at country, regional, and cross-regional level. At country level, the Initiative aims to equip country stakeholders with resources to improve workforce policies and programs surrounding the previously mentioned themes, while at regional level, the Initiative would gather more data about the status of ECW and successful programs. Collected data are aimed to inform and influence regional policy frameworks and empower regional policy initiatives surrounding the recruitment, retention, preparation, professionalization of and improved working conditions for ECW, as well as encourage the increase of cross-country learning to improve ECW programs and policies at the country level.

The Initiative brings together regional and global partners capable of addressing ECW staff matters to create a community of ECW advocates and enhance cross-regional learning and collaboration.

To learn more about the core of ECWI’s work, you can read more about our partnership and theory of change here.