A well-known proverb states that if you want to go quickly, you should go alone, but if you want to go far, then go together.
ISSA, as a network, strives to go far. We strengthen the connections among our members so that they can learn from each other, create new resources together and support innovations—all for the benefit of young children and their families. This past year has provided many examples where our member organizations, in close to 40 countries across Europe and Central Asia, were able to improve on their work because of the strength of the network.
As a learning community, we stand for the empowerment of those who work with the youngest members of society. Several initiatives addressed the need for strengthening professionalism among those who work in services for young children. This is done best by placing equity, quality and cross-sectoral cooperation at the core of their preparation and professional development. As awareness increases about the importance of the early years, we continue to bring attention to the important role adults play in the development of children, and the need to properly support and appreciate them within a competent early childhood system.
A network can be a powerful way to link the local with the global. It can serve as a bridge across various corners of our continent. In 2017, we moved toward becoming such a bridge. We are happy that both Eastern and Western Europe are now equally represented in our initiatives and in our membership. Through our initiatives, we increased our work to link with professionals from other sectors. We remain deeply committed to harnessing the power of our network so that, with each year, we turn the wheel of change more towards early childhood systems that are more strongly devoted to children’s wellbeing.
The year has been insightful and challenging. Above all this year has been inspiring. We are looking forward to taking exciting steps forward in 2018. Will you join us?