NurtureFirst: Uplifting the Global Home-Based Childcare Ecosystem

December 5, 2023 – ECDAN, in partnership with the Global Development Incubator, hosted a webinar to celebrate the launch of NurtureFirst—a global funder and capacity builder that works to build and improve support systems for home-based childcare providers globally.

During the two-hour event, speakers shared NurtureFirst’s approach and progress with the global community and highlighted learnings from various home-based childcare support programs from around the world.

Each day across the world, nearly 70 percent of children are cared for in home-based settings, enabling their parents to undertake paid work and other opportunities. Its popularity is driven by its affordability for parents, cultural relevance, and accessibility. Despite its prevalence, home-based childcare is an overlooked and unsupported sector. Providers are severely underpaid, under-recognized, and unsupported. They typically don’t have access to government and community-based services that could make a meaningful difference to children’s nutrition, sanitation, and other nurturing care needs.

As a response to the gap in support structures for home-based providers, NurtureFirst works to influence various systems through instituting and changing policies, improving local and global practices that support providers, and increasing recognition, funding, and resources for providers.

The urgent need to focus on the benefits of high-quality home-based childcare cannot be underestimated. This early intervention provides the foundations for improved child development, improved labor participation by women, and the creation of a fairer, more equitable society.

The webinar was split into three sections:

  1. NurtureFirst: Uplifting the global home-based childcare ecosystem
    • Presentation of NurtureFirst’s Theory of Change, approach and ideology 
    • Update on design and implementation of ongoing system-change pilots in Kenya 
  2. Home-based childcare around the world
    • Discussion panel featuring insights from home-based childcare support programs in Vietnam, Bangladesh, the USA, and South Africa
  3. Q&A

The end goal is to contribute to a world in which all children through the first three years of their lives have the care they need to thrive, families have access to affordable, quality childcare options that enable them to work, and childcare providers are adequately compensated and supported for their work.

The slide deck for the webinar can be found here. Other resources shared by panelists included: