The quality of the early embryo is critical for embryonic development and implantation. Errors during cleavage lead to aneuploidy in embryos. As a cell cycle checkpoint protein, CHK2 participates in DNA replication, cell cycle arrest and spindle assembly. However, the functions of CHK2 in early development of the mouse embryo remain largely unknown. In this study, we show that CHK2 is localized on the spindle in metaphase and mainly accumulates at spindle poles in anaphase/telophase during the first cleavage of the mouse embryo. CHK2 inhibition led to cleavage failure in early embryonic development, accompanied by abnormal spindle assembly and misaligned chromosomes. Moreover, the loss of CHK2 activity increased the level of cellular DNA damage, which resulted in oxidative stress. Then, apoptosis and autophagy were found to be active in these embryos. In summary, our results suggest that CHK2 is an essential regulator of spindle assembly and DNA repair during early embryonic development in mice.