Ummeed’s Early Childhood Development and Disability Programs (eCDD) is designed to train and support Community Based Organizations (CBOs) working in the space of maternal and child health on early childhood development.
The first few years in a child’s life are particularly important because vital brain development occurs in all domains. Research shows that synaptic connections in the brain form and mature in the “critical period” between birth to six years of age with the most rapid development occurring between 0-3 years. Children require a responsive caregiver along with a secure, stimulating and safe environment in those vital first years for optimal development.
Most children seem to manage it all without apparent effort – because the human brain is hard-wired to do so. But for some children, it’s not so easy.
About 250 million (43%) children younger than 5 years in low and middle-income countries are at risk of not reaching their developmental potential because of extreme poverty and stunting.
There is thus a greater need to monitor and promote development in children and families from low resource backgrounds to support optimal development and work towards early mitigation of delays and risk factors that may impact development.
Research has demonstrated that family based interventions delivered by community based workers have resulted in improved child development outcomes. The program aims to build CBOs’ capacity to facilitate early childhood development through the following activities:
For eCDD related inquiries, please email us at
Ummeed’s School Outreach program works both with mainstream and special schools to promote the development of inclusive environments in the following three ways:
Building accepting, collaborative and inspiring communities for all participants
Ensuring that school policies celebrate diversity and support children with varied learning needs
Mobilizing resources and establishing sustainable practices that reduce barriers to learning
Read more on developing inclusive school environments from British educators Tony Booth and Mel Ainscow.
Inclusion is often associated with students who have impairments or students with special needs. However, Ummeed believes that inclusion involves the education of all children, not just children with special needs.
Hence, anything that stands in the way of a child being able to learn and participate on an equal basis with his or her peers constitutes a barrier to learning.
Once children enter the school system, whether public or private, families need ongoing support for a variety of issues.
Coping with the academic demands of the school, peer relationships, bullying and exclusion (for several reasons) in the school system are all issues that children especially children with disabilities and their families face daily.
Through the School Outreach program Ummeed advocates for such children and their families by interacting with schools to support the learning and participation of these children within the school context.
Ummeed views inclusion as an approach to address barriers to learning, build resources to support learning and participation and respond to the diverse needs of every child.
Build awareness and sensitivity among schools so that they can be more inclusive and accepting of diversity and differences among children
Build customized training programs for schools to promote and develop inclusive culture, policies, and practices
Provide ongoing mentorship and support to schools towards engaging with children with varied needs in their school context
Shamin Mehrotra | Joyeeta Sen | Trishna Bhagtani
For school outreach related inquiries, please email us at