CE International Celebrates 130 Years of Supporting Quality Education for Children Worldwide

130 year dedicated to ensuring quality education for children worldwide

As 2022 draws to a close, Childhood Education International is proudly reflecting on our 130 years of history.

Established in 1892, CE International began as the International Kindergarten Union, founded on the belief that young children have unique gifts and talents that should be nurtured. The organization hosted its first conference several years later, welcoming educators to discuss critical issues in child development and education.

In the early 1900s, the organization began international teacher exchanges to grow knowledge and understanding around the globe. During World War I, it supported teachers and children living in areas of conflict.

In 1931, the organization joined with the U.S. National Primary Council and changed its name to the Association for Childhood Education. During World War II, it again supported teachers and kindergartens in conflict-affected areas. Reinforcing its resolve to work globally and harkening back to its former days as the International Kindergarten Association, the organization inserted the word “international” back into its name in 1946.

From 1946 to 2019, the Association for Childhood Education International was active in international education advocacy efforts, including supporting adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, receiving Consultative Status through the United Nations Economic and Social Council, and championing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Since 2016, the organization has sought to explore and promote innovations that advance and transform education while continuing the rich tradition of global collaboration, which has been bolstered through a worldwide network of Country Leads and Regional Advisors. The organization also made another name change, this time to Childhood Education International (CE International). The newly designated CE International was accepted as an NGO in official partnership with UNESCO.

In 2021, we were delighted to relaunch the Center for Professional Learning (CPL), formerly the Center for Learning in Practice, as the flagship center at CE International. CPL provides sustainable learning pathways that create an empowered educator workforce equipped to tackle evolving education challenges. Current key initiatives include Quality Holistic Learning and the Refugee Educator Academy.

Today, CE International continues to share scholarly and general information through two regular publications, Childhood Education Innovations (first published in 1924) and the Journal of Research in Childhood Education (first published in 1986), and is undertaking initiatives that support the transformation of education around the world to ensure that all children have access to quality education, with a focus on well-being, innovation, and leadership as key components of education change.

Much has changed over 130 years, but CE International remains driven by a strong belief in the value of educational opportunities that support the optimal learning, growth, and development of pre-primary and primary school-age children worldwide. We are excited to celebrate 130 years and look forward to many more, as we continue our mission of transforming education for children worldwide.