Our History

After an “incubation” period of twenty years or so spent observing practices in the field, contributing to the creation of daycare centers in France and internationally, becoming familiar with the needs of early childhood professionals as well as parents, and exploring the available resources, the founding members decided the time was ripe for ACTION and to make their contribution to the evolution of our society.

End of 2015

In 2015, the founding members create a dedicated fund under the aegis of a childhood foundation.


October of 2016 saw the birth of the non-profit association following the first International Congress devoted to early childhood at the OECD, on June 6-7. Through the sharing of cutting-edge information, the 38 countries represented at the Congress arrived at the conclusion that childhood could and should no longer be sub-divided into distinct fields.


On June 9th, 2017, during the first teaching day at Dole on nurturing education, the Franco-Quebec video series, “Tell me…” marks an important step in knowledge-sharing about early childhood development in light of the most recent advances in neuroscience.
This first instructional series, validated by an international scientific committee, is highly acclaimed by both professionals and parents.

From November 2 – 20, 2017, with the assistance of a significant international and national network uniting 70 actors, influencers, and partners who support early childhood actions, the Association organizes a first unprecedented national knowledge-sharing operation. The Early Childhood and Parenting Train literally hits the rails heading for 15 cities throughout France where it is visited by 32,000 parents, grandparents and childhood professionals. 20,000 were able to participate in 167 conferences and workshops on various aspects of child development, completely free of charge.

On November 7, 2017, a charter is signed with the Mayor of Dole, who receives the Nurturing Education City label on behalf of the city. A great premiere which will be followed by other cities signing on to the charter.


January 2nd, 2018, our President and Fonder receives her mission letter to co-preside with Mr. Frédéric Leturque, the Mayor of Arras, the commission to “Eradicate Child Poverty” with the Interministerial Delegation for the Prevention of and War Against Child and Youth Poverty.

In February of 2018, signing of the agreement with the INSERM Unit at the University of Bordeaux in partnership with the Psycho-Educational Center of Quebec and the Quebec Association of Early Childhood Centers allows us to establish a first major action-research project promoting social health: Accompany me…!

March 14th, 2018 sees the arrival of the Train’s “Little sister”: the first national traveling exhibition on child development, “Discover me…!” This educational journey moves about from city halls to other institutions such as childcare and parenting support centers, offering additional resources and supplementing our educational days for professionals and debate evenings for parents.

The adventure continues, with the assistance of our reinforced Board of Directors, our pluridisciplinary and international Scientific Committee (in French), as well as our Circle of Sponsors who have accompanied us from the beginning, and those who believe in the capacity of investment in early childhood to change the trajectory of our most vulnerable children and thus work towards building a better and more inclusive society.

June 14-15, 2018 sees the second edition of the OECD Congress on the theme of the Transition to School: Equity, Quality and Innovation. 40 countries and 380 participants share research, best practices and a vision of the future.

Summer 2018: release of the Report of the Child Advocate of France on early childhood, to which the Association contributed, participating in the writing of the proposed legislation against maltreatment of children.

September 13th, 2018: announcement of the Poverty Plan by the President of the Republic

September 2018: participation, at the invitation of the Minister of Education of the UAE, in the Educational Conference in Dubaï. The traveling educational exhibition Discover Me…! is entirely translated into Arabic, as are 5 videos from the Tell Me…? series.

2018 Summary:
  • A constant media presence and conferences at the Economic and Social Council, at Unesco, and at the CNAF (national family assistance organism)
  • Beginning of our consulting relationship with innovating cities: Saint-Malo, Arras, and Dole
  • In total, over 50 meetings in the field in 20 cities
  • 25,000 professionals and parents educated on child development
  • 3 additional cities earning the nurturing city label for their exemplary actions benefitting early childhood: Arras, Roubaix and Le Havre.


Everything accelerates. The team expands (in French) and begins training and supervision of its first ambassadors.

Actions intensify and densify

The traveling exhibition offers the opportunity to accompany early childhood professionals with some innovative formats: interactive educational days, reverse conferences, various debate formats, educational games, workshops for mobilization and team-building, exhibition visits, and charity sales.
We concentrate our actions, always upon the request of a given city, in areas that are the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.

January: sees the implementation of the first measures of the Poverty Plan in the direction of third-party payment for daycare and the emergence of the initial premises of the Ambition 600,000 Plan (the future plan for training early childhood professionals). Nathalie co-chairs the commission with Catherine Scordia, Director General of ETSUP (school of social work), in the Paris region with the Interministerial Delegate, Olivier Noblecourt.

April:seminar with the Saving Brains partnership on the conditions favorable for spinoffs of the Accompany me…! approach.

May 17th: 3rd edition of the nurturing education day in Dole

May 22nd: congress on educational transitions in Arras

June: Participation in the International Step by Step Association (ISSA) congress, Nurturing Environments; development of a relationship with the organization

September 19th: launch of the Commission of 1000 Days at the Élysée Palace; 18 experts are invited, including our own Executive Director

September 26th: participation of our Executive Director, at the invitation of the European Commission, in the education summit in Brussels

September 27th: Discover me…! is put on display at the Council of Europe for the first time and is inaugurated by the Minister Adrien Taquet, surrounded by deputies, including Deputy Sylvain Wasermann

September 28th: launch of the first training session for EPEPE ambassadors

October 14th: 1st day of the Accompany me…! action-research project

October 16th: we are with 31 committed early childhood officials, teams from 8 cities and certain selected professionals as we voyage to Quebec to discover the scientific background and meet the experts who have inspired the approaches that we are adjusting to our own areas. We discover other perspectives on education, we explore new avenues and highly inspiring new kinds of expertise. Through our partner, the Quebec Association of Early Childhood Centers (the AQCPE), we meet with Quebec’s Family Minister, Mathieu Lacombe.
At the end of this trip, we decided to become a part of the circle Ensemble pour l’enfance (Together for Childhood) with a mission to act in multiple dimensions: from advocacy to actions designed to accompany future early childhood, family and education officials.

November 13th: Discover me…! returns to the Council of Europe to meet new deputies, as well as the President of the Republic

November 29th: participation in the conference at Bordeaux “On est fou de nos enfants” (“We’re crazy about our kids!”) with Minister Taquet and the elected official, Dr Brigitte Collet.

4 tours of France later,
  • we will have accompanied 22,000 childhood professionals and parents in 30 cities in France and 3 in Belgium
  • 4 traveling Discover me…! exhibitions are now circulating within France: one version with 100 interactive panels, one more condensed version with 20 panels, a special European version (present in Strasbourg at the Council of Europe) and a specific version for future and young parents visible in the Parenting Village of the Enjoy Family baby fairs.
  • 25 articles in the press, and a constantly increasing social media presence.


February: first meetings with the ONE (national Birth and Childhood organism) in Brussels, to establish the premises of cooperation.
Marine Jeantet, High Commissioner, is named Interministerial Delegate to the Committe for the Prevention of and War Against Poverty, replacing Olivier Noblecourt; Nathalie pursues her mission with respect to the Ambition 600,000 Plan

March: the Coronavirus wipes out France; we slow down our activites, with the team all working remotely.
Nathalie participates in the creation of the Enfance et Covid platform with 9 other perinatal and school specialists:

EPEPE coordinates and supplies the resources of the platform for early childhood professionals.
The team mobilizes voluntarily to create a website, pull together practical information sheets (Laure along with 12 professionals and volunteer experts); Delphine serves as the coordinator of the 22 professional listeners on the toll-free number, and responds to the daily questions of the professionals involved.

Become a member and act with us!

Early childhood education and parenting support are priority national issues.
To fulfill its social mission, Ensemble for Early Childhood Education needs you!