About ACM

Started in 1962, the Association of Children’s Museums (ACM) champions children’s museums worldwide. With more than 470 members in 50 states and 11 countries, ACM is the world’s foremost professional society supporting and advocating on behalf of children’s museums, and those who work at and otherwise sustain them. We leverage the collective knowledge of children’s museums through convening, sharing, and dissemination.

A children’s museum is defined as a nonprofit educational and cultural institution committed to serving the needs and interests of children by providing exhibits and programs that stimulate curiosity and motivate learning. Regardless of size, all children’s museums function across four dimensions, as local destinations, educational laboratories, community resources, and advocates for children.

Our Vision

A world that prioritizes the rights of all children to playful learning and a healthy, safe, and equitable future.

Our Mission

We champion children's museums and together enrich the lives of children worldwide.

Why We Do What We Do

We believe children’s museums are unique community institutions where…

  • Children are valued citizens with the right to developmentally-appropriate and high-quality learning experiences.
  • Play is learning, and it is critical to the healthy social, emotional, and cognitive development of children.
  • Family, culture, environment, and society are recognized as critical factors in all children’s lives to effectively serve them.
  • Pursuing equity and inclusion is a best practice that reflects a commitment to serving all children and families and advancing the growth of our field.

Our Core Values

Membership and Community

Our primary focus is working with and on behalf of our membership. All activities are in service to the enrichment, expansion, and advancement of this community.

Leadership and Innovation

We pay close attention to emerging trends and opportunities for advancing and elevating the field through risk-taking, while being accountable to our mission and fiscal responsibilities.


We implement our work through partnership and dialogue with our members and other stakeholders to ensure equitable and inclusive processes and effective outcomes.