Under the patronage of Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed” Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority Launches World Early Development [WED] Movement


Abu Dhabi: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority [ECA] has officially launched the World Early Development [WED] Movement (“global aspiration with local impact”) on Monday at a virtual ceremony in Abu Dhabi. 

The virtual attendance of the launch ceremony included Her Highness Sheikha Mariam bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chair of the Higher Committee and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Abu Dhabi ECA, Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Abu Dhabi ECA, and the two inaugural Co-Chairs of WED Movement’s Breakthrough Working Group [BWG], His Excellency Omar Saif Ghobash, UAE MOFAIC Assistant Minister for Culture and Public Diplomacy, and Cecilia Vaca Jones, Executive Director of the Bernard van Leer Foundation.  

With regard to the Glocal Initiative, His Highness affirmed that Early Childhood Development is one of the most important strategic priorities of the Abu Dhabi government. We look forward to building a younger generation that possesses the knowledge and skills needed to overcome challenges, keep abreast of changes, contribute to building society and promote its renaissance, based on our awareness of the importance and impact of the first years of a child’s life, which will subsequently be reflected in the future of our society.

“We all know that early childhood is one of the most vital sectors on which comprehensive and sustainable development depends. Children are our most valuable resource, and caring for them and providing protection for them, creating a supportive environment for their growth and development are among the most important pillars for building a better future and paving the way for conscious generations” H.H added.

 Under the directives of His Highness, the glocal Initiative for Early Childhood Development is supervised by a multinational and multidisciplinary team representing a number of government agencies, decision-makers, academics, practitioners and innovators from the public and private sectors, with the aim of enhancing the results and outputs of the initiative in the UAE and the world, while continuing to work to provide the best results. The initiative seeks the empowerment of children from 0 to 8 years old and to become a source of inspiration for them, in a way that positively affects their lives in the present and in the future.

The Glocal Initiative for Early Childhood Development is based on the strategy of the early childhood sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi 2035, and is in line with the UAE vision 2021, which coincides with the golden jubilee of the UAE, with the aim of developing an integrated vision for Emirati society in the next fifty years, and establishing an integrated system of cultural and productive values to prepare the coming generations.

Cecilia Vaca-Jones, head of cognitive innovation groups and executive director of the Bernard Van Leer Foundation, said: “Imagine if we were able to promote a healthy life for all children, I hope that we see many positive factors that bring people together to join the WED movement, to bring new solutions, and most importantly, to benefit children, the world will need more people who are able to give”.

For his part, His Excellency Omar Saif Ghobash, Co-Chair of the Knowledge Innovation Groups, said: “The diverse composition of the working group will enable its members to deal with long-term challenges related to Early Childhood Development in new and innovative ways. Personal and professional care are a crucial part of the process, and I look forward to being part of those discussions”.

The launch of the “WED” initiative is in line with the Abu Dhabi government’s commitment to improving services and outcomes in the field of Early Childhood Development, as contained in the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Development Strategy 2035, which is supervised by the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, in close cooperation with entities such as the Ministry of Education and Knowledge, the Ministry of Health, Department of Community Development and Abu Dhabi Police.

Over the course of the current year, the Glocal Initiative for Early Childhood Development will present a work program that includes many effective initiatives that adopt clear and influential standards aimed at increasing awareness of Early Childhood Development through distinctive documentary films, podcasts, and an interactive platform for exchanging information and knowledge. It aims to enable the bodies active in the field of Early Childhood Development in the world to communicate and exchange knowledge and experiences. As part of proceedings, a children’s race will be hosted in Abu Dhabi, with the participation of children from different parts of the world.

The Glocal Initiative for Childhood Development 2021 program of work will lead to the hosting of the first forum for the Glocal Initiative for Early Childhood Development in Abu Dhabi over two days in November 2021, coinciding with World Children’s Day, and will review the developments that have occurred in the current year and developments related to the initiative.

The first edition of the initiative will focus on three topics: Tech Humanity for children that paves the way for the fifth industrial revolution, lifestyle in the 21st Century to encourage children and parents to adopt a better lifestyle that enhances their physical health and enables them to practice healthy eating patterns and, finally, enhancing emotional well-being and social interaction in children and those around them.

The Glocal Initiative for Early Childhood Development is supervised by knowledge innovation groups that include some of the  most prominent experts and innovators in the world, members of Harvard University, the World Bank, YouTube and UNICEF. They will meet throughout the year to develop action plans and actions to be taken related to the Early Childhood Development sector.

The initiative seeks to influence parents, children, partners, government policymakers, civil society, research entities, social investment funds and innovation centers in addition to the private sector to promote and develop the early childhood sector at the local and glocal levels, by embracing and implementing intervention strategies emerging from the program and applying them in any applicable context.

About WED Movement:

WED [World Early Development] Movement is a new glocal platform based in Abu Dhabi dedicated to the creation and dissemination of knowledge related to Early Childhood Development.  Uniting the world’s leading experts, innovators and disruptors, WED Movement seeks to develop pioneering approaches to address the imminent and future challenges facing the Early Childhood Development sector locally and internationally.  By drawing on a diverse range of perspectives, WED Movement is intended to have a positive impact on children’s lives while strengthening the Early Childhood Development sector in Abu Dhabi and around the world.  WED Movement benefits from the support of the Board of Trustees of the Abu Dhabi ECA and other Abu Dhabi Government entities involved in Early Childhood Development.  

About ECA Abu Dhabi:

Established in 2019, the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority [ECA] is a government entity that oversees the Early Childhood Development sector in Abu Dhabi.  Focusing on the period from pregnancy to 8 years of age, Abu Dhabi ECA aims to promote optimal child development and well-being through health & nutrition, family support, child protection and early care & education.  The ECA was born out of the Government of Abu Dhabi’s long-term commitment to improving child outcomes.  The vision of the ECA is for every child to be healthy, confident, curious, and able to learn and develop strong values in a safe, family-friendly Abu Dhabi.