Advocacy | Ummeed Child Development Center
Toggle Menu


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 Idea

Ummeed's eCDD aims to maximize the developmental potential of children aged 0-3 years in low resource areas.

Why is this important?

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.

Our Approach

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:

Training for community health workers to promote and monitor child development, and to provide support to families of children identified with developmental delay
Strengthening supervisors' capacity in project implementation
Mentorship and continued engagement with stakeholders in the project to facilitate sustainability
Monitoring impact of the program through qualitative and quantitative measures


5 organizations trained by eCDD since 2012
107 community health workers and supervisors trained till date

The Team

Ashwini Vaishampayan | Shweta Mehta | Hema Chari | Priya Jacob | Aditi Brahmabhatt | Sayali Sawant

Contact Us

For eCDD related inquiries, please email us at

The School Outreach program works towards promoting and implementing inclusive cultures, policies and practices in schools.

The Idea

Ummeed’s School Outreach program works both with mainstream and special schools to promote the development of inclusive environments in the following three ways:

Inclusive cultures

Building accepting, collaborative and inspiring communities for all participants

Inclusive policies

Ensuring that school policies celebrate diversity and support children with varied learning needs

Inclusive practices

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.

Index for Inclusion Report

Why is this important?

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.

Our Approach

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.

Short Term

Build awareness and sensitivity among schools so that they can be more inclusive and accepting of diversity and differences among children

Long Term

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


Ummeed has worked with 80 teachers across all 17 BMC special schools to help them better understand and engage children with autism
Ummeed has worked with the non-profit organization Muktangan, which focuses on inclusive schooling for underprivileged Mumbai children, to help build capacity to promote inclusive cultures, policies, and practices in their school system.

The Team

Shamin Mehrotra | Joyeeta Sen | Trishna Bhagtani

Contact Us

For school outreach related inquiries, please email us at