Early Childhood Development

Children’s early life forms the basis for future learning, good health and well-being. Integrated Early Childhood Development (ECD) programs ensure that children under six, particularly children under three, are reaching their cognitive, language, social, emotional and physical developmental milestones. Investing in children and their primary caregivers during this time can result in lifelong benefits.


Five Years of Amazing Results

Discover how the integrated Early Childhood Development (ECD) program in Zambia reached nearly 30,000 children in the first five years, working through local volunteers to empower and encourage caregivers and has been expanded into Kenya, Malawi and other countries.

Download the full report

Download the report summary

Download the evaluation summary

Read the May 24, 2017 press release

Download the 2017 ECD Poster Presentation

Download this early childhood development case study


Program Background

Episcopal Relief & Development and our partner, the Zambia Anglican Council Outreach Programmes (ZACOP), launched an integrated Early Childhood Development (ECD) program in 2012 for families affected by HIV/AIDS. In partnership with the Anglican Church of Kenya Development Services (ADS-Nyanza), the program was launched in Kenya in 2014. By 2021, the program expects to reach over 36,000 at-risk children under three and to expand to Ghana, Malawi and Mozambique.

The current program, Moments That Matter®, a program partnership of Episcopal Relief & Development, is supported by in part by funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, the Episcopal Health Foundation and other donations to Episcopal Relief & Development. It addresses the needs of young children while equipping their caregivers and communities to support their healthy development. It leverages the assets of Episcopal and Anglican churches nationally and locally, with a dynamic network of local leaders and trained ECD Volunteers focusing on young children’s cognitive, psychosocial and physical development. Moments That Matter built on lessons learned from the first phase in Zambia and drew from the Essential Package: Holistically Addressing the Needs of Young Vulnerable Children and Their Caregivers Affected by HIV and AIDS and other resources to create a two-part training curriculum for community ECD Volunteers and a separate training resource for Faith Leaders. Our vision is organized communities, strengthened families, empowered caregivers and children who are thriving.

Participating communities have enthusiastically engaged with the program, with dedicated volunteers carrying out the activities, faith leaders supporting the program and spreading critical information on ECD, and collaborating organizations providing additional services.

In the video below we follow Catherine, an ECD volunteer in Zambia, as she conducts home visits and talks about her role in the Early Childhood Development program.