The Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) is a 501 c 3 charitable organization dedicated to promoting the optimal education and development of children in a changing world through various programs and projects that align with ACEI's mission. ACEI's tagline is "Bright futures for every child, every nation," which highlights ACEI's commitment to support and advocate for access to education, equity in educational settings, quality educational content, and the child's right to education. These key areas of focus have evolved from the Association's vibrant and active past. As ACEI's mission to promote child well-being continues to strengthen and evolve with the changing world environment, the organization commits to bridging the gap between global initiatives and local needs. In this era of rapid change and increased connectivity, ACEI recognizes the significance of promoting international and intercultural understanding through dialogue and mutual respect. Over the years, ACEI members have acted as social change agents, involving themselves in various critical societal issues in their efforts to ensure that children around the world are protected, supported, and educated in ways that allow them to reach their full potential.
ACEI was established as the International Kindergarten Union (IKU) in 1892, by educators concerned with the professional preparation of kindergarten teachers. In 1931, the National Council of Primary Education joined with the IKU to form the Association for Childhood Education (ACE). Realizing the critical importance of advancing childhood education throughout the world, ACE added "International" to its name in 1946, becoming the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI). Today, ACEI has members in many nations, country liaisons, and network groups.
ACEI holds Consultative Status at the United Nations and membership in the NGO Committee on UNICEF. ACEI UN representatives attend annual UN Department of Public Information (DPI) conferences, participate in Working Groups affiliated with the NGO Committee on UNICEF, and attend annual conferences sponsored by the Committee on Teaching About the United Nations (CTAUN). Additionally, ACEI representatives attend educational events at UN Headquarters in New York.
The Association archives are located at the Archives and Manuscripts Department, University of Maryland Libraries, Hornbake Library.
The collection contains the records of the ACEI as well as the International Kindergarten Union and the National Council for Primary Education, ACEI's predecessor organizations. Also included are a broad range of document types from operating records to publications, audio-visual materials, and three-dimensional objects such as toys. In addition, the collection contains the personal papers of numerous leaders of the ACEI. Among the many subjects addressed in the collection are early childhood curriculum, teacher education, the history of pre-kindergarten and kindergarten education, and the development of pre-school education in countries other than the United States. There are also several unprocessed accessions for which preliminary inventories are available. Inclusive dates are 1807-1986.
For more information, visit the archives website here.