What is this fund?

Building off 20+ years of investment, the Early Childhood Regional Networks Fund is a new donor collaborative with a mission to provide funding that supercharges early childhood regional networks. In addition, the Fund aims to strengthen regional network coordination and interaction so that they can respond to the needs of their members and the wider sector in their regions, especially through capacity building, advocacy, knowledge building, sharing good practice, and building resilience, on Early Childhood Development themes that networks consider most relevant and choose to prioritise.

Specifically, the Fund aims to:

  • support the member driven strategic plans of the Regional Networks,
  • strengthen the capacity and impact of each network and learning between them,
  • enable collaborative projects (eg. in workforce, fatherhood and male caregiving) that the networks deliver through and with their members.

The Fund aims to attract $9m of funding over its first five years of operation and has been designed in a way that welcomes new donors who share its passion for strengthening the early childhood sector through collaborative networking, sharing and elevating front-line voices, and protecting the interests of young children, especially the most vulnerable.


Who is engaged?

This new Fund has been established by Oak Foundation, the Open Society Foundations and Porticus, and includes The Human Safety Net and The Two Lillies Fund. The fund is open to other interested donors too. As long-term supporters of networks in the early childhood sector, these foundations recognised that there is greater efficiency and potential impact to be achieved by bringing their resources together through a donor collaborative fund, hosted by Swiss Philanthropy Foundation

Critical to connecting the sector are four regional networks, the primary beneficiaries of the Fund: The Africa Early Childhood Network (AfECN), the Arab Network for Early Childhood (ANECD), the Asia-Pacific Regional Network for Early Childhood (ARNEC), and in Europe/Central Asia, the International Step by Step Association (ISSA). Working in close collaboration with Early Childhood Development Action Network (ECDAN) the global early childhood network, these are the networks that connect the organisations working to make quality early childhood services a reality for every child.