After World War II, physical devastation was evident throughout Europe – crumbled buildings, ruined parks, impassable streets, damaged infrastructure. Psychological and social damage were equally evident. A strong humanitarian concern led a small group of educators and others interested in young children’s wellbeing to seek a way to engage others committed to this cause.
In 1946, Lady Allen of Hurtwood (The United Kingdom) and Alva Myrdal (Sweden), with others from France, Denmark, and Norway, developed a plan for the creation of a world organization to promote the wellbeing, rights and education of young children. The UNESCO Assembly in Paris welcomed the plan with enthusiasm, and the founding members invited representatives of 19 countries from 5 continents to a World Conference on Early Childhood Education in Prague in 1948. At that Conference, OMEP was born and Alva Myrdal was elected as its first World President.This new organization was recognized then, as it is now, as the principal mechanism to bring together people from all over the world, without any criteria other than an objective to share information and initiate actions to benefit young children everywhere.
The name of the organisation is “Organisation Mondiale pour l’Éducation Préscolaire”, or the acronym OMEP.
The abbreviation “OMEP” shall be used in all languages.
The name can be translated to English as “World Organization for Early Childhood Education” or to Spanish to “Organización Mundial para la Educación Preescolar” but always setting before the acronym “OMEP”
OMEP uses English, French and Spanish as official languages. Nevertheless, other languages may be used to respond to situational demands.
OMEP is an international, non-governmental and non-profit organization, which has worked for all aspects of early childhood education and care (ECEC) since 1948.
OMEP is currently in over 70 countries, has special consultative status with the UN, UNESCO and ECOSOC, and is represented at the meeting of other organizations with similar aims.
OMEP defends and promotes the rights of the child to education and care worldwide and supports activities which improve accessibility to high quality education and care.
A world in which all young children are respected as citizens from birth, who effectively enjoy all the human rights enshrined in the CRC, developing integrally as healthy and happy people. We understand that education is a right and a tool for the realization of all other rights, and that is why we work and contribute to ensure that States and societies fulfil their commitment to provide equitable, inclusive and quality education to all children in early childhood, from birth to 8 years old.
A united OMEP capable of developing an integrated, professional and democratic work, based on our knowledge and experience as teachers, researchers and activists for children.
The aims and objectives of OMEP are to defend and promote the rights of the child with special emphasis on the right to education and care worldwide. To this end, OMEP shall help any undertaking which could promote access to quality early childhood education and care.
The means of action of OMEP are as follows:
The constitution of OMEP delineates the management frame of the organization regarding aims, membership, structure, finance, etc.