THE ICRI WAY: Philanthropy and Development


Circles of Caring

Overview of the Circles of Caring Model

Since ICRI’s founding in 1981, we have been committed to certain key precepts when it comes to meeting the needs of children, their families and communities worldwide:

First, ICRI believes that no lasting change can be made for children, families, or communities without true local “ownership” of programs or projects or change making.

Second, without the integration of key community leaders, parents, and those who experience the challenges sought to be corrected, the potential for successful results is significantly diminished.

Third, change will not be sustainable without a deep understanding of local cultural imperatives and their impact on all aspects of program planning, development, and implementation.

ICRI has continued to hold onto these beliefs throughout our 36-year history and we have learned on every project around the world how absolutely critical it is to the success of our endeavors. We have identified that early childhood programs are the most successful and sustainable when approached with a deeper understanding of local community issues. The challenge in the field of early childhood education is that, all too often, projects are developed too narrowly. Through our extensive work we have developed a unique, sustainable and scalable model called the Circles of Caring. The Circles of Caring model is designed to nurture communities from a 360-degree perspective in order to address and meet the needs of children their families and communities.  For every project, ICRI carefully crafts Circles whose components come together to create real and lasting change and are supported by our grassroots community development core values of self-determination, local leadership, community collaboration and empowering the village to raise the child.


Our programs are delivered by ICRI and a team of local experts in the field of early childhood education and care, health, teacher training, and parenting. Programs work to assure brighter futures to many children around the world and assist teachers, caregivers, and parents by providing them access to modern teacher training and a parent education that builds upon their pre-existing knowledge in order to help them become experts on the growth and development needs of their own children. These highly innovative approaches, that follow the most important new concepts in our field, lead to the development of model early childhood centers that have the potential to transform the early childhood development landscape for generations to come.


ICRI has had the honor of collaborating with and receiving support from organizations such as UNICEF, USAID, WHO, regional and national governments, and hundreds of foundations. ICRI also works as an international social entrepreneur from within our NGO framework. We operate income-producing, “sliding scale,” model early childhood programs and a consultation division, often in collaboration with local governments and community based organizations. ICRI has developed and/or operated over 400 programs in over 50 countries


Below is a typical example of the components that comprise a Circles of Caring project