Welcome to Early Childhood Development Initiative (ECDI)

We offer learning programs, workshops, and community resources for African parents of children aged 0-12. Our courses support parent’s knowledge about child development, strengthening parent-child bonding, play-based early learning, and children’s school readiness. We put value into providing resources to ensure that children develop to the best of their own abilities.

What We Do

Early Childhood Development Initiative (ECDI) provides ECD training for families, educators, education administrators, policymakers, child development assessment, early intervention, curriculum development, community-based service delivery, and resource development. We also facilitate cross-cultural early learning collaborations and international early learning networking opportunities to further strengthen the delivery of play-based early learning across Africa.

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We support optimal ECD outcomes for African children in Canada by providing culturally relevant services — to strengthen family capacity, culture, home language retention, foster community networks, engage in research, advocacy, and direct service delivery to families with children aged 0-12.



We provide ECD, special needs education, and resources to support family, community, teacher, and government capacity. We collaborate with stakeholders to create enriched environments that enable children to attain their best developmental potential. We also engage in research and advocacy and facilitate international networking and cross-cultural linkages to expand knowledge and resources.


Classroom Connect

Our Classroom Connect program provides unique opportunities to enhance respectful multiculturalism and positive global identity in the education sector. We build collaborative connections linking classrooms across Africa to counterpart classrooms in North America. Teachers collaborate on lesson plans and explore the uniqueness of child learning across contexts and children engage and build respectful relationships with their peers across cultures.

Classroom Connect is coming soon!

The Benefits of Play-based Education

Each little child today represents the future. It has been established through research that what the future holds depends on the quality of environments, relationships, nutrition, protection, and good health that young citizens can access in their early years of life. Expanding ECD (Early Childhood Development) knowledge, and supporting access to healthy, and well resourced ECD environments matter very much to ensure equitable human development outcomes for African children.


Develop social & emotional skills


Foster creativity & imagination


Support pre-literacy skills


Responsive caregiving


Self awareness & confidence


Connecting across borders

the Association of West African Reggio Educators (AWARE)

The goal of AWARE is to promote the Reggio philosophy of early childhood care and education (ECCE) in West Africa.

Become an AWARE member and connect with an international network of practitioners and researchers.

What People Are Saying

“The ECDI team was very helpful in helping me find resources that were useful as a first-time parent.  From picking a good daycare to learning about programs in my local library, the team was willing to work with my family and me in getting what we needed. I was also exposed to understanding concepts on how my daughter learns and how best to help her learn. For example, the ECDI team provided us with a variety of age-appropriate books and now my daughter enjoys reading so much that her reading is way above her grade level.”

— Mafo Yakubu

“I am a Chief Lecturer and the pioneer Head of Department of Early Childhood Education, EACOED, Oyo. I was one of the lecturers trained by ECDI on play-based early learning from 2015-2019. Before the training, I did not have much knowledge about how to effectively facilitate child learning and learning areas, but now I have deep knowledge of how to conduct the circle time, learning areas, and sourcing ECD materials locally at no cost. This has greatly helped me in teaching the pre-set teachers at my college of education. Also, I serve as a national master trainer and this knowledge has enhanced the teaching skills of pre-primary teachers in Oyo state and across Nigeria. Thanks to ECDI and its CEO who has been my mentor and facilitator.”

— Dr. Adesina Olusola Joseph

“Meeting the ECDI team for the first time in 2015 was a turning point in my career as a child educator. They added to my knowledge, exposed me to the practical aspects of ECE, and enabled me to understand ECD better.  My horizon broadened as I was trained in the Reggio Approach. My mode of teaching has since changed from lectures to facilitation. The ECDI team helped me understand how to link the NCCE Minimum Standards with the pre-primary curriculum and changed my mindset on sitting arrangement in the lecture hall. It made me see the environment as a third teacher. I became encouraged and convinced on the use of low-cost/no-cost materials in the college resource centre that was formally stocked only with European standard play materials. I now use both local and international materials in the centre. My knowledge enabled me to obtain accreditation for the department of ECCE at two colleges – FCE Gombe and COE Billiri, Gombe State. I have learned a lot from ECDI. Thank you for educating me, team ECDI.”

— Asabe Ismaila

“I was introduced to ECDI at a time when I was really struggling. My four-year-old son had just started JK and the school called me every day, he’s crying, he’s not settling, he doesn’t fit, basically he would be better off at home. And then they said he was autistic. I was at my wit’s end. I was a single mum struggling to make ends meet, working long shifts at a grocery store, gaining “Canadian experience” so I could get into my field. A friend introduced me to ECDI and that completely changed the story for us. The staff went with me to meet the teacher. They knew the “right” language and helped me and the teacher begin to understand each other. They helped me understand that my son needed some support and linked us to Toronto speech and language services. They helped the school understand that some of my son’s behaviour was culturally appropriate. To cut a long story short, my son got services I did not know he needed, he was NOT autistic and the school learned to respect some cultural differences. I hope that made a difference in the way the school treated other children coming after him. I have a baby now and we all still attend ECDI programs.”

— Lucy Boateng

We have trained over 10,000 pre-primary teachers, contributed to improved teacher practices, and enriched play-based learning environments for over 150,000 children in Africa and Canada.


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