Building Partnerships to Promote Early Childhood Development

Considering the acceptance and success of the first National ECD conference and finding that there were plenty of scopes of further presentation, the Executive Committee decided to organize the second one in large scale.  Accordingly, the secretariat prepared for and finally organized the Second National ECD Conference with the slogan ‘Our Children Our Future’ on 10-11 December 2007 at Bangladesh Shishu Academy (BSA) premises. The objectives of this two-day long conference were to share and exchange information interchangeably and innovations in the field, increase awareness of the importance of early childhood development and consider future directions of the Network.

Ms. Geeteara Safiya Choudhury, Advisor of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs, inaugurated the conference and addressed the Opening Session as the Chief Guest. Honourable Secretary of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education, Mr. M. Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and Honourable Secretary of the Ministry of Women and Children Affairs and Ms. Rokeya Sultana were present as Special Guests. Chief executives of the Government and non-government agencies were present on the day to declare their continuous support and commitment to child development in Bangladesh. About five hundred program implementers, facilitators, teachers and professionals from governmental and inter-governmental agencies, national and international non-governmental development agencies assembled from different parts of the country.


The two-day-long program included four plenary sessions and fourteen concurrent sessions; exhibitions of ECD programs, activities and materials; children’s performance; and video shows. Participants also enjoyed the cultural shows in between the working sessions.

The topics of the Plenary and Concurrent Sessions are:

Plenary Sessions:

  • Government's Commitment and Role in Early Childhood Development
  • The First ECD Academic Program in Bangladesh
  • Enhancing Mathematical Reasoning of Young Children
  • Future Directions for ECD Network Advocacy and Awareness Building

Concurrent Sessions:

  • Socio-emotional Development of Young Children
  • Basics of Brain Development and Early Stimulation
  • Effect of Nutrition on Early Childhood Development
  • Child Safety And Child Development
  • Transitions to Primary Schools from Pre-primary
  • Importance of Play and Creativity for Early Childhood Development
  • Early Childhood Development for Children with Disabilities
  • Inclusion in Early Years
  • Influence of Language Development on Children's Academic Achievement
  • Government’s Programs/Activities in Early Childhood Development
  • Role of Communities in ECD Initiatives
  • Role of Media for ECD Advocacy
  • Impact of Early Stimulation Programs on Child Development
  • Increasing Demand of Day Care Services in Urban and Rural Settings
  • Children’s Access to Pre-school Education in Bangladesh
  • ECERS as a  Reliable Predictor of School Readiness


Twenty organizations organized their stalls of ECD programs, activities and materials in the exhibition.  Anchal (Centre for Injury Prevention & Research, Bangladesh), Bangladesh Shishu Academy, Bangladesh Shishu Hospital, BRAC - Government Partnership Programme, Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP), Dhaka Ahsania Mission, Early Childhood Development Resource Centre, Friends in Village Development Bangladesh, Gono Shwatho Kendra, Heed Bangladesh, ICDDR,B, Inner Force, Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP), Islamic Foundation, Nayantara Communications/Sisimpur, Second Primary Education Development Programme (PEDP II), Phulki, Plan Bangladesh, Research Initiatives, Bangladesh Save the Children USA and SUCCEED. They displayed and sold their materials.


Different initiatives were taken to make the conference more attractive and informative to the participants. The secretariat prepared a booklet which contained the program of the conference, the abstracts of the presentations and a map of the conference premise to guide the participants. A poster with the slogan “Our Children Our Future” was printed and circulated to the participants. Each participant was provided with a bag in which there were a pen, a pad, a name tag, a booklet, a poster and lunch coupons for the two days. A registration booth was arranged to help the participant to be registered and to get any sort of information. In the exhibition ground, TV screens were arranged where a live display of the plenary discussion were projected. ECD songs were arranged to be played in the breaks. Representation from some BEN organization worked as volunteers.     

Media Coverage

To get a wide coverage in both print and electronic media, the secretariat worked on to invite the journalists, photo journalists of different national dailies and TV channels. Even an agreement with ‘Channel I’ was carried out by BEN. Even though it was supposed that ‘Channel I’ would cover the whole conference, unfortunately they failed to show their commitment. A little reflection was found in the newspapers.