TOY for Inclusion at the ISSA Conference 2017 in Ghent

October 9, 2017 |

Giulia Cortellesi (ICDI) and Francesca Petrucci (Associazione 21 Luglio) participated in the ISSA Conference in Ghent (Belgium), the theme of which was “Local Responses, Global Advances: Towards Competent Early Childhood Systems”. They presented the TOY for Inclusion approach to an audience of early childhood education and care researchers, practitioners and policy makers from more than 60 countries. 

TOY for Inclusion is creating non-segregated multi generational play spaces (ECEC Play Hubs) in seven European countries: Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Slovakia and Slovenia. It is implemented in cooperation with International Step by Step Association (ISSA) and Romani Early Years Network (REYN). Click on this link to read more about TOY for inclusion.

Giulia’s and Francesca’s presentation focused on the current situation with regard to the introduction of an ECEC Play Hub and the intergenerational learning approach in Roma communities focusing on the experience from one community in Rome (Italy). They also discussed the potential opportunities and challenges of applying the TOY intergenerational approach to Roma communities to promote social inclusion, intercultural dialogue and access to ECEC settings and primary schools;  and the different ways in which the TOY for Inclusion approach could take form in different contexts and countries.


The Belgian partner VBJK organised a surprise for TOY: they brought some of the children participating in TOY for Inclusion in Ghent to the conference to meet Giulia and Francesca! They were having a day out in Ghent.

For more information about the project and its next steps, please contact