125 Years and Counting

Committed to Innovation and Education for All

Since the very beginning, ACEI has been an international organization driven by the belief that education is essential to human development. More than a century later, this core belief remains the same as we look at human development on a global scale and see how education has the power to change lives. Today, our commitment to advancing education translates to a commitment to education as a tool for global development and sustainable futures for all. ACEI works for the education of all children, but has a special interest in ensuring that our energies are focused on meeting the education needs of the most fragile and vulnerable children.

ACEI’s work began in 1892, with the effort to promote kindergarten education in the United States and internationally. In the 1930s, we broadened our focus to progressive education and education through the primary school years. Today, we focus on education of children and youth, birth to approximately 18 years. Since its founding, ACEI has been dedicated to improving early childhood education and development (ECD) and we remain firmly committed to this.

Our leadership and our sustained commitment to promoting education, access, equity, and quality earned us Consultative Status with the United Nations in 1977, a privilege that elevates ACEI’s influence and strengthens our impact as we respond to the needs of children and adolescents in a diverse and rapidly changing world.

We are inspired by the prominence of education within the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals. Ratified as the fourth of 17 goals, education is preceded only by the goals of eliminating poverty, ending hunger, and ensuring good health and well-being. At the same time, education is now being recognized as the means to address all these worthy goals—a catalyst for progress, with the power to transform lives and futures.


ACEI is a public charity.
We rely on donors and supporters to help us do the work we do in the world.

We work through our three primary programs:

Our mission is to promote innovative solutions to education challenges and inspire action that creates positive, sustainable futures for children and youth worldwide.