The idea of BEN originated in 2002 as an activity of the UNICEF funded ECD project under the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA). An ECD Working Group was formed at the end of 2002 for carrying out preparatory works which were (a) publishing a Directory of ECD Partners and hosting an ECD Website, (b) developing a constitution of the proposed ECD Network, and (c) forming an ECD Network comprising of representatives from the leading ECD actors in Bangladesh. The first task was entrusted to Save the Children USA by the ECD Working Group. A nation-wide survey of ECD organisations was conducted with support from Bangladesh Shishu Academy (BSA). The last two tasks were conducted jointly by the members of the ECD working group. UNICEF was made the secretariat of the ECD Working Group.
BEN was formally launched on 7 September 2005 in a national conference of the ECD community. Since inception, BEN has been fulfilling its mission by conducting advocacy, sharing information and experiences, supporting cooperation and building capacity of stakeholders regarding Early Childhood Care and Development. Currently BEN has 128 active members under its umbrella. These include government agencies, international organizations, international NGOs, and small and large national NGOs who are active in a significant way in providing services in early childhood development. BRAC Institute of Educational Development, BRAC University has been the Secretariat of BEN since its formal inception. BEN is registered under the Register of the Joint Stock Companies. The Executive Board of BEN is elected periodically to serve for a period of 3 years. BEN has a resourceful Steering Committee including experts in ECD and beyond.