Where we work

We work in low- and middle-income countries

Early Care International believes that supporting and promoting Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes in low- and middle-income countries is an equitable and sustainable future investment.


ECD programme initiatives in low- and middle-income countries are vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. East African countries like Ethiopia have recently given due consideration to programmes addressing children's early holistic developmental needs. However, effective and sustainable ECD programmes need cross-sectoral collaboration, knowledge sharing, advocacy, research and capacity building of actors involved in the area, which we aim to contribute to. 

Thus, Early Care International aims to support and promote ECD programmes to make a lasting impact in the lives of children. We engage with grass-root civil society organizations, institutions, governmental and donor organisations to address the various health, psychosocial, educational and economic needs vital early in life. 


A report released in 2019 by the Ethiopian Government Statistics Agency and UNICEF has indicated that an estimated 36 million of a total population of 41 million children are deprived of basic goods and services. Due to malnutrition and other adverse life experiences, nearly 60% of children under five in Ethiopia lag from their full developmental potential. Deprivation in education was 50% for children aged between 5 and 17 in 2016.

The current socio-political context in Ethiopia is characterized by the ongoing conflict in the country and the related humanitarian crisis leaves children particularly vulnerable.

Vulnerable children need Early Childhood Development (ECD) services and programme support due to the fragile conflict context. Moreover, COVID-19, youth unemployment, drought, and inflation combined have affected the local economy and the population's everyday life for the past few years.

The ECD programme initiative is still nascent in its progress in Ethiopia. ECD is cross-sectoral. The Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs are key governmental stakeholders working with ECD at a national level. In addition several civil society organisations - national as well as international - implement ECD programmes in Ethiopia. Intersectoral coordination is crucial for the successful implementation of the ECD programmes in Ethiopia.

However, the emerging services in Ethiopia are minimal, fragmented and less of a priority due to lack of awareness in society, limited resources, and policy directions. Thus, we firmly believe that working closely with governmental and non-governmental organisations in Ethiopia can contribute to the improvement of the lives of several children early in life.

Our partnerships 

Partnerships are important for Early Care International. Our partnerships are based on shared values and principles in line with The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Nurturing Care Framework. We collaborate both with civil society organisations and governmental institutions to achieve our objective; to implement innovative programmes that promote the lives of children early in life.

Danish-based partners 

Among Early Care International's Danish partners is Civil Connections Community Foundation.

Together with Civil Connections Community Foundation we have received funding from CISU for the project Mapping Early Childhood Development Programmes in Ethiopia (MECDP). 

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Ethiopian-based partners 

Early Care International works closely with our local partner organisation in Ethiopia called Education for Sustainable Development. Education for Sustainable Development is a non-profit, non-religious and non-political civil society organisation aiming to improve the lives of children, youth and women in Ethiopia. 

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Norwegian-based partners 

Early Care International is partnering with the Norwegian-based non-profit organization Children and War Foundation dedicated to improving children’s lives after wars and disasters. 

Together with Children and War Foundation we are implementing the pilot project, "Training of non-specialised front line workers in war-affected areas" in Ethiopia.

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