The Science of Early Child Development (SECD) course was co-developed by the Red River College in partnership with the University of Toronto, and the Aga Khan Development Network. It is designed to make current research accessible to anyone interested in learning more about the profound impact of early life (from conception to eight years) on lifelong health and wellbeing. This resource shares the emerging science about early brain development and gives an overview of cross-disciplinary developmental health research and links to practice. It contains multiple examples of innovative programs for children and families from around the world.

The SECD course is organized around 5 modules comprising: Brain Development, Coping and Competence, the Ecology of Childhood, Communicating and Learning, and Developmental Health.


This course is available in two formats:

  • SECD Online Course – There is both an introductory online version with a duration of 7-Weeks, and a mode detailed 16-Weeks version. These courses have document and video content, quizzes, interactive discussions, and assignments.
  • SECD Seminar Series – This is an intensive 6-day in-person training featuring lectures, video content and interactive discussions.


This course is suitable for professionals who directly manage, assist and/or deliver ECD programmes. In previous courses, we have trained implementers from health, education, nutrition, child protection, social protection, and public administration sectors among others.


Participants who successfully meet the course requirements will receive a certificate of completion, as well as supporting documents to facilitate future recognition of prior learning where applicable.

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