The idea of BEN originated in 2002 as an activity of the ECD project of Bangladesh Shishu Academy (BSA) under the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs (MoWCA) supported by UNICEF. 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 then 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. The Institute of Educational Development, BRAC University has been the Secretariat of BEN since its formal inception.