Timeline of Our History


International Kindergarten Union founded on the belief that young children have unique gifts and talents that should be nurtured through special places of learning called “kindergartens.”

Black-and-white historical photo of teachers in dresses, sitting around a table, collaborating

Established first conference where educators join together to discuss critical issues in child development and education.


Began international teacher exchanges.


Supported teachers and children living in poverty or suffering the consequences of war, hunger, and discrimination by sending educational supplies and toys to those living in World War I conflict zones.


Childhood Education journal launched to provide greater guidance to teachers of young children worldwide.


Engaged with experts who traveled worldwide to create shared understandings about the positive impact of education. These first “Education Diplomats” provided the grounding for our current Education Diplomacy program.


Participated in the first U.S. White House Conference on child health and protection to raise awareness and focus public attention on issues affecting children’s well-being.


Joined with the U.S. National Primary Council to form the “Association for Childhood Education” (ACE), recognizing the common needs in child development across the early years and strengthening child advocacy efforts.


Hired by the U.S. Works Progress Administration (WPA), a recovery program of the Great Depression, to publish materials for early years teachers.


Sent books, learning materials, toys, and curriculum guides to teachers and kindergartens in refugee camps for children displaced in conflict-affected nations during World War II.


Strengthened organizational resolve to work on global education issues by reinserting “international” in its name—the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI).


Supported the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was the first document to establish education as a right for all.


Took a stand against discrimination in the United States by denying the requests of three ACE state associations to have racially segregated education associations.


Incorporated optimal education, development, and well-being of children and the needs of children in a changing society into its mission, supporting the ideals of equal access to education and education as a right.


Worked with embassies located in Washington, D.C., to share effective teaching practices with educators from other nations.


Became a leading contributor on education issues to the United Nations and received Consultative Status through the United Nations Economic and Social Council.


Established Journal of Research in Childhood Education to publish scholarly work from around the world.


Supported the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and tailored programs and publications to raise awareness of child rights.


Celebrated its 100th Anniversary.


Held the first conference on global quality standards with representatives from over 90 education organizations and developed the very first set of Global Guidelines for Early Care and Education.


Participated in the World Education Forum Dakar, Senegal, where the Dakar Framework for Action is created.


Developed the concept of Education Diplomacy to help educators shape a new way forward to advance the global concerns of education, and held first Institute for Education Diplomacy.


Held first Global Summit on Childhood to examine issues of child growth, development, education, and learning in a rapidly changing 21st century.


Launched Country Lead Network, engaging CE International education representatives in over 50 nations.


Shifted focus to new innovations that are advancing and transforming education. Adopted a mission “to promote innovative solutions to education challenges.”


Launched our International Principles of Practice in Education, which describes the enormous contribution of educators to human development and societal progress.


Changed name to Childhood Education International and is accepted as an NGO in official partnership with UNESCO.


Reaching educators in 184 nations around the world, Childhood Education Innovations magazine explores new ideas and insights that advance education.


Refined Practice Areas of Well-being, Innovation, and Leadership, and expanded service opportunities to peer organizations and individuals.


The Center for Professional Learning (formerly Center for Learning in Practice) is relaunched as a flagship center within CE International after being acquired in late 2021.

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