Confluence of ideas, actions and Play-Based Learning explored at Reliance Foundation’s landmark Early Childhood Care and Education conference

Nurturing lives, building futures

Mumbai, April 17, 2024:  A landmark gathering of public and private practitioners spanning the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) spectrum, convened to share insights and experience play-based learning at Reliance Foundation’s Building Flourishing Futures conference.

Held at the Dhirubhai Ambani International School (DAIS) in Mumbai, the conference brought together diverse practitioners from the ECCE system, academics and experts from India and internationally.

The two-day conference, explored innovative practices and approaches for developing playful parents, teachers, and communities. Contributing towards the goal of universalization of ECCE as articulated in India’s National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, speakers and participants had a range of learning and educational experiences, with 10 masterclasses, 15 interactive learning stations, and 30 speaker sessions.

Showing deep involvement in the subject at the conference, Ms Isha Ambani, Director, Reliance Industries Limited and Vice Chairperson, Dhirubhai Ambani International School, was in rapt attention through the sessions, keenly engaging with experts and attending demonstrations with practitioners at various learning stations.

Key speakers included well-known practitioners Shri Sampath Kumar, IAS., Principal Secretary, Government of Meghalaya, Ms Anne Van Dam from The Learning Square, Dr Vibha Krishnamurthy from Ummeed Child Development Center, Ms Sunisha Ahuja from UNICEF and Dr Rita Patnaik, Joint Director, NIPCCD, Ministry of Women & Child Development.

Experts such as from Dr Mahesh Balsekar, Consultant Paediatrician, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre; Mr Abhimanyu Basu, Dean and CEO, DAIS; Dr Nilay Ranjan, Head - Education, Reliance Foundation also added their insights to the proceedings.

Through the two days, participants who included Anganwadi workers, teachers, principals, policy makers and representatives from philanthropies explored a burst of ideas, engaged in animated play-based learning demonstrations, discussed nuances of policies and practice, caregiving and strategies for cross-learning, towards holistic early childhood care, education and development.

Reflecting Reliance Foundation Founder and Chairperson Mrs Nita Ambani’s philosophy of ‘Happy School, Happy Learners’ educators at the Reliance Foundation schools and the Dhirubhai Ambani International School create stimulating learning environments, from the best of Indian and international early childhood learning practices. With this experience, Reliance Foundation’s vision is to help transform the Early Childhood Care and Education landscape across India, especially through building capacity of Anganwadi workers to deliver play-based learning for children from low income and marginalised communities.

Continued collaboration and innovation can build significant momentum. The ‘Building Flourishing Futures’ conference with a unique convening of diverse opinions, thoughts and good practices, aims to build a dynamic platform where practitioners learn from one another; build collaborations to develop actionable strategies within the ecosystem, leading a transformative journey, so that every child in India has the opportunity to reach their full potential, towards a flourishing future.