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State of the Association 2013

Dear ACEI Community,

In 2013, our association made great strides in expanding our international outreach and in the development of ACEI programs.  We are pleased that ACEI continues to receive positive acknowledgements on our work from organizations in the international community. Here at ACEI Headquarters in Washington D.C. our staff members work diligently to ensure that ACEI is striving to meet its mission. We are fortunate to have responsive and forward thinking members of our Board of Directors who are focused on ACEI’s vision and ensuring a sound strategic direction.

ACEI’s mission is to promote and support the optimal education, development, and well-being of children worldwide.

ACEI’s vision is that every child in every nation will have access to a quality education. This education will prepare children to become responsible and engaged citizens and ready them for life in a changing world.

ACEI’s commitment to children is not just in ensuring quality education alone. In order for children to achieve their full potential children need supportive, nurturing, child friendly communities; safe places to live and learn; nutritious food and physical activity. (See the 10 Pillars of a Good Childhood developed by ACEI and the Alliance for Childhood at

If you are a globally minded individual and interested in childhood education, we invite you to join with us. We welcome teachers, teacher educators, education policy specialists, education researchers or education consultants. Since our mission is also to ensure child well-being we invite doctors, economists, nurses, psychologists, social workers or child rights advocates to join with us as well. Your membership and/or donation to ACEI helps us to deliver new programs that advance education and child well-being.

There is still so much to be done. Although the world community has made gains in achieving some education goals there is still much to be done.

1. As of 2012, 31 million primary-school pupils worldwide dropped out of school. An additional 32 million repeated a grade.

2. In sub-Saharan Africa, 11.07 million children leave school before completing their primary education. In South and West Asia, that number reaches 13.54 million.

3. While girls are less likely to begin school, boys are more likely to repeat grades or drop out altogether.

4. According to UNESCO, 61 million primary school age children were not enrolled in school in 2010. Of these children, 47 percent were never expected to enter school, 26 percent attended school but left, and the remaining 27 percent are expected to attend school in the future.

5. Children living in a rural environment are two times more likely to be out of school than urban children. Additionally, children from the wealthiest 20 percent of the population are four times more likely to be in school than the poorest 20 percent.

6. In developing, low-income countries, every additional year of education can increase a person's future income by an average of 10 percent.

7. Children who are born to educated mothers are less likely to be stunted or malnourished. Each additional year of maternal education also reduces the child mortality rate by 2 percent.

8. Women with a primary school education are 13 percent more likely to avoid the risks of contracting HIV/AIDS. Primary education can help decrease the spreading of this virus by promoting safer sexual practices.

9. 53 percent of the world's out-of-school children are girls and two-thirds of the illiterate people in the world are women.

10. Education empowers women to make healthy decisions about their lives. For example, women in Mali with a secondary level education or higher have an average of 3 children, while those with no education have an average of 7.

11. The youth literacy rates in South America and Europe are among the highest with 90-100 percent literacy. The African continent, however, has areas with less than 50 percent literacy among children ages 18 and under.

12. Significant adversity impairs development in the first three years of life—and the more adversity a child faces, the greater the odds of a developmental delay. Indeed, risk factors such as poverty, caregiver mental illness, child maltreatment, single parent, and low maternal education very often one or more delays in their cognitive, language, or emotional development.

We continue to advocate for the inclusion of children’s voices and perspectives in all we do. The state of our association is strong but agile and flexible so that we can respond to every changing need. You can view an account of our activities in 2013 here.


Diane Whitehead
Executive Director, ACEI