The International Step by Step Association (ISSA) is a vibrant network that connects professionals and non-profit organizations working in the field of early childhood development. Established in the Netherlands in 1999, ISSA’s community today stretches across the globe with more than 75 members coming from close to 40 countries, primarily located in Europe and Central Asia.
Latvian member “Center for Education Initiatives” has launched a new initiative - in cooperation with the Jekabpils Municipality - to strengthen and educate parents. They aim for a more active participation in processes, at local and national level, that are important for families with children. Center for Education Initiative sets up workshops for parents, followed up by electronical information sheets.
During a three day "Training of Trainers", 20 professionals were trained. The training is part of the TOY for Inclusion programme which aims to improve the transition experience of Roma young children from home to preschools and schools by offering an innovative response to discrimination of Romani communities. It will do so by creating community based ECEC play 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 (ECEC play hubs) across all generations are supported. ICDI, together with ISSA, has developed a toolkit to support practitioners and other stakeholders in the development of skills and competences to organise Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) activities. These activities involve young children of all backgrounds, their families and older adults.
Every year ISSA hosts an international conference on an important theme around Early Childhood. This year's focus is "Local Responses, Global Advances. Towards Competent Early Childhood Systems". The ISSA 2017 Conference will take place in Ghent, Belgium between 4 - 6 October.
Early childhood education has a new strong advocate in Romania. Ready Nation Romania, a network of business people who are socially engaged, has been supporting early childhood advocacy in the past two years. Together with our member the Step by Step Centre for Education and Professional Development (CEPD) Romania, Ready NationRO is promoting early education at government meetings, events and on national media. Carmen Lica is the Executive Director of CEPD Romania. She explained to us how the business sector can make a difference for children.
We are thrilled to welcome IRODA to the ISSA network! This member organisation from Tajikistan wants to ensure that people with autism have access to quality services appropriate for their unique needs. IRODA aims to see children with autism treated with dignity and respect, as valued members of society. IRODA was established in 2011 and is currently the only center providing autism-specific services in Tajikistan.
Ukraine is in the process of reforms, including education reform. One of the steps in this process is the development of new educational standards for primary schools. Ukrainian Step by Step Foundation organized 'training-for-trainers' days on July 4 - 8th.
Russian ISSA member Biological and Social Foundations of Inclusion Center, in cooperation with ISSA member Soobschestvo hosted a 10 day international conference and summer school in June. The seminar with the title "Early Intervention for Children and their Families: From Theory To Practice" was held in St. Petersburg.