We work to ensure the best quality care and education for young children.
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Current Initiatives

The Romani Early Years Network

The Romani Early Years Network (REYN) is a Europe-wide advocacy network of practitioners working with Romani and Traveller young children and their families. REYN strives for equal access to high-quality early childhood development (ECD) services for Romani and Traveller children and families.

The network also advocates for more diversity in the ECD workforce, including a better representation of Romani and Traveller professionals. REYN shares knowledge, promotes noteworthy practices and works with REYN members and national networks to achieve quality and equitable early childhood services.

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ISSA is supporting children’s holistic development through integrated early childhood services. High-quality early childhood services can make a remarkable difference, especially for the most disadvantaged groups. Inequalities within the early childhood systems in Europe have a strong negative impact on the most vulnerable children.

By strengthening the cooperation between sectors and professionals, INTESYS aims to reduce the disparities in learning outcomes for migrant children, Roma children, children with special needs and children living in poverty.

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Embracing Diversity

ISSA provides a wealth of resources and specialized training for groups to take the first steps toward engaging in positive conversations about diversity, social justice, inclusion and equity.

The goal of ISSA’s work in Embracing Diversity is to empower adults working with diverse groups to recognize their own attitudes, beliefs and behaviors in relation to marginalized groups; to raise their awareness and knowledge about issues of discrimination and exclusion; and to help them take responsibility and build the capacity for change on personal, professional and institutional levels.

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Home Visiting

Supporting the families of young children before birth and during the child’s first years of life is of great importance and can have long-term benefits for children, communities and societies. Home-visiting programs in particular have been found to increase parental wellbeing and efficacy, as well as child outcomes.

ISSA and UNICEF ECARO (Europe and Central Asia Regional Office) have collaborated to develop the Resource Package for Home Visitors which draws on the most recent scientific evidence. The training modules in the package are designed to advance the knowledge, skills, attitudes and practices of home visitors and to enrich their engagement with the families of young children. The ISSA programs team also offers training on these modules.

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The Early Childhood Workforce Initiative

Despite the increase in access to early childhood development (ECD) services in many parts of the world, little is known about the quality of ECD programs. Those who work with young children and their families are a critical part of quality in early childhood experiences. The ECWI focuses on supporting and empowering those who work with children under age eight and their families, as well as those who supervise and mentor practitioners.

The Early Childhood Workforce Initiative (ECWI) is a global knowledge hub, support system and a proponent for the early childhood workforce. Through this initiative, ISSA helps bridge the gaps in policy and practice and promote high-quality, equitable services.

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Children on the move

Infants and young children represent a high proportion of refugees and migrants who had to leave their homes and countries in the last years. Because young children are the most vulnerable group, a response cannot be delayed without placing their lifelong development and achievement at risk.

ISSA develops tailor-made early childhood interventions that ensure that early learning and play activities or programs are provided for young children (birth to 6 years of age) in safe, although sometimes transitional, environments. ISSA’s efforts are towards enabling local organizations, professionals or para-professionals to work with children and families by creating programs and hands-on resources to be easily used in settings such as refugee camps, non-formal settings or formal settings.

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ISOTIS aims to contribute to effective policy and practice development at different system levels in order to effectively combat early arising and persisting educational inequalities. Through an extensive quantitative and qualitative research, ISOTIS addresses issues regarding parent and family support, curriculum and pedagogy development, professional development, inter-sectoral services coordination, and education policy. The project also leads to the creation of virtual learning environment prototypes that would enable actors in the education systems to provide more inclusive services.

ISSA lends its expertise in working with vulnerable populations to this project, which will lead to the creation of more equal and inclusive education systems starting from early years through secondary school.

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Latest news

Learning Event 7th June 2018

The KAA Gent Foundation uses football as a way to connect children, families, and the neighbourhood.

"Little Ideas" cards for parents in Slovenia

Step by Step Centre for Quality Education together with Family Centre Mala ulica ("Litte Street")-both ISSA members in Slovenia- have developed and published material for parents of children 0-1 year. It is called "Little ideas" and is created together with pediatricians.


International Step by Step Association
The Romani Early Years Network
ISSA Conference 2017

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