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World Forum Foundation on Early Care and Education 2024: Reflections

Courteney Donaldson, Managing Director - Childcare & Education at Christie & Co, reflects on her time at the World Forum Foundation 2024 conference which was held in Vancouver in April 2024.

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Courteney Donaldson

Courteney Donaldson

Managing Director - Childcare & Education

World Forum Foundation’s 2024 international event - World Forum on Early Care and Education - in Vancouver, Canada, which was held between 16th and 19th April

We were incredibly proud to sponsor the World Forum Foundation’s 2024 international event - World Forum on Early Care and Education - in Vancouver, Canada, which was held between 16th and 19th April.

I was lucky enough to attend this annual gathering of over 700 global ECEC educators from 52 countries and advocates, and enjoyed a packed agenda which included sessions on Indigenous Early Learning and the Canada-wide $10-a-day Child Care plan, a chance to visit some unique Canadian childcare settings, multiple networking opportunities including our very own roulette table, and a session on the UK's recent blueprint for early education and care provided by myself and David Wright of Paint Pots Nurseries.

The event itself was informative and insightful, and it was brilliant to see the diversity of educators, many of whom, thanks to sponsorship such as ours, were able to fund attendance at the event and learn from practitioners across the globe. From huge global nursery groups to operators who work in really difficult conditions to ensure that children in their care get the education they deserve, everyone I spoke with shared the same personal drive to give every child the best possible start in life, and that was so inspiring.

Here's a selection of some of my key takeaways and personal highlights from the 2024 event:

  • Vulnerable to Valuable: Children Facing Climate Change: Explored impacts of climate change on young children, supporting children to gain the knowledge needed to survive and thrive in a climate-changing world, and placing young children at the centre of climate change responses. Sheldon Shaeffer, Thailand; Ali Formen, Indonesia; Paula Mazzola, Brazil; Breann Corcoran, Canada; Victoria Carr, United States; Moderator: Kirsten Haugen, United States
  • Global Perspectives on AI, Technology, and Early Education: Explored global perspectives, delved into an international project on digital content for early inclusion. It also uncovered AI’s role in early learning, tackling administration, safety, and policy; explored how the use of AI led to a consensus-building process to define educational technology in early childhood education. (Annie Paquet, Canada; Carmen Dionne, Canada; Lori Prospero, Canada; Nicolas Galindo, Mexico; Pedro Olivares, Mexico; Andrew Nsigaye, Rwanda)
  • Worldwide Workforce Challenges and Solutions: We heard stories from different countries citing everyday challenges within the global ECE workforce. Our challenges are similar but varying contexts lead us to different solutions. (Caroline Wright, United Kingdom; Ann Stubbs, United Kingdom; Marica Cox Mitchell, United States; Saraphina Lelo, Tanzania; Katrina Estey, Canada)
  • Creating a Blueprint for Early Education and Care: We examined a UK campaign to create ECE policy centred on children’s outcomes and learning, whilst facilitating sustainable solutions to ECE challenges. (Courteney Donaldson, United Kingdom; David Wright, United Kingdom)

World Forum 2026: Location TBC

It was a joy to sponsor this year’s event and, once again, lending our support as visionary sponsors we are very much looking forward to the 2026 World Forum on Early Care and Education.

For more information on the 2026 event, click here.

If you’d like to learn more about the international ECEC market, or for a confidential chat should you be contemplating the sale of your childcare business, please don’t hesitate to contact me via: or +44 (0) 7831099985

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