Community Based Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) for Roma Children
Segregation of Roma is determined by socioeconomic and historical factors, and has a detrimental effect on young children (and their families) in terms of their rights, development, and their future. The latest reports show a dramatic increase of Roma-only classes in spite of the authorities’ commitment to reduce the number of classes with Romani pupils only.
TOY for inclusion aims to improve the transition experience of Roma children to schools by offering an innovative response to discrimination of Romani communities by creating community based ECEC hubs (resource and meeting centres) where relationships between Roma and non-Roma young children and their families are built and interactions in safe play spaces across all generations are supported.
This project is funded by the European Commission and runs from 2017 to 2019.
Participants in the TOY for Inclusion training will be ECEC and Social Care practitioners and community development workers from six countries (Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Latvia, Slovakia and Slovenia). The training will focus on community-based ECEC, social inclusion and IGL.
Romani and non-romani Children (0 to 8 years old), their families (parents and grandparents) and local authorities will involved in pilot actions in all six countries, which will take place in safe play spaces such as toy libraries and community based early years services.
The impact of TOY for Inclusion will be that ECEC and Social Care practitioners from Roma communities will develop skills and competences to deliver successful IGL activities involving young children (Roma and non-Roma), their families and older adults, paying particular attention to social integration and intercultural and intergenerational dialogue.
Toy libraries will overcome segregation, provide access to quality non formal ECEC services that, through family involvement and IGL, will improve transition experience to formal education and build the capacity of parents.
TOY for Inclusion will develop a toolkit and a training on community-based ECEC initiatives to promote inclusion in non-formal ECEC settings through intergenerational learning (IGL) and other approaches.
We will create non-segregated multigenerational play spaces in six countries where IGL activities will also take place. These spaces will offer children (and their families) not only a place to play, but also help them develop necessary skills and knowledge for formal education.
We will develop a ‘What Works Guide’ with recommendations for practitioners and local authorities to implement community based ECEC for Romani and non-Romani children.
TOY for Inclusion is the result of the cooperation between International Child Development Initiatives – ICDI (NL), International Step-by-Step Association – ISSA (NL) and six members of the Romani Early Years Network – REYN: Educational Research Institute - ERI (Slovenia), Open Academy Step by Step – OASS (Croatia), Centre for Education Initiatives – CEI (Latvia), Wide Open School – WOS (Slovakia), Centre for Innovation in the Early Years – VBJK (Belgium) and Partners Hungary.
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.