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 inovations—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.
High-quality education and care depends heavily on a qualified and satisfied workforce. As part of ISSA's commitment to strengthening the early year’s workforce, extra attention has been placed on providing professional development opportunities in our network.
Regular professional development gives those working in the field of Early Childhood Education and Care an opportunity to hone their skills and cultivate new ones. This year, Zorica Trikic, Senior Program Manager, conducted 8 professional trainings in 6 countries. These trainings benefited a total of 176 participants of over 25 nationalities.
INTESYS is a 3-year, Forward Looking Cooperation Project co-funded by the European Commission's Erasmus+ Programme. The project focuses on piloting new approaches to Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) systems in Europe with a view to ensuring that children and families in vulnerable situations have access to high quality ECEC provided by services that are better integrated across the different sectors (education, health, welfare, etc.), professions and across age groups and governance levels.
ISSA ensures the quality of the reports and products created in the course of the INTESYS project, as well as the quality of the coordination meetings in the consortium.
An international workshop and meeting on the segregated education of Roma children will be hosted in Budapest January 25th- 26th. The event will include discussion about the impact of segregation in schools and facilitate the exchange of practices between those working for the prevention of segregated education.
In 2017, 10 insightful Peer Learning Activities took place. These sessions were organized by 24 ISSA member organizations, either as applicants or co-applicants.
The PLAs covered a wide range of topics. Some focused on Quality in Early Childhood Development (ECD), others on Quality in education, diversity and social inclusion of Roma children. But also topics such as violence in early childhood, accessibility of integrated services and the executive function and self-regulation in ECD. And financial literacy in ECD and developing networks of professionals.
37 member organizations from 24 countries participated in these PLA’s, as organizers and/or participants.
Thirty years ago, the ISSA member organization Nederlands Jeugdinstituut (Netherlands Youth Institute) developed various family-oriented programs to stimulate play and pre-school activities. This anniversary was celebrated with an event in September, which also functioned as a reunion for many of the attendees.
Photo: Davide Rambaldi © Eurochild
Zorica Trikic, ISSA's Senior Programme Manager attended the presentation of the report called Let Children be Children: Lessons from the Field on the Protection and Integration of Refugee and Migrant Children in Europe which was launched on December 4th, 2017. This new report, produced by Eurochild and SOS Children’s Villages, offers 16 inspiring practices that showcases how the child protection services are responding to the needs of refugee and migrant children in Europe.