There is an urgent need to strengthen early childhood development and education in emergencies (ECDEiE) globally. Colombia has faced protracted and acute crises for decades. Also, the country has applied a unique approach to holistic and integrated ECDE policy formulation. We argue that these characteristics offer a valuable country‐case to identify barriers and levers to the operationalization of ECDEiE. We applied a sector‐wide analysis protocol that harmonized components of the Humanitarian Programme Cycle by the Inter‐Agency Standing Committee and of a framework to characterize the governance of ECDE systems. The study outlines how the policy and program characteristics identified may represent levers or barriers to the effective operationalization of ECDEiE in Colombia. We discuss how these attributes could be considered in the trans‐sectoral dialogue between ECDE and humanitarian actors with the aim of strengthening ECDEiE systems globally.