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Date: 06-01-2020

Comenius Foundation for Child Development Shares a Method for Scaling-Up with the ISSA Network

Established in 2003 by a group of psychologists, pedagogues and community workers, ISSA Member Comenius Foundation for Child Development (Comenius Foundation) inspires adults to create environments in which all young children can develop, explore and use their potential. The organization provides equal opportunities for children that help them to become open-minded individuals. To implement that, Comenius Foundation has innovative systemic and legal arrangements and a wide variety of effective childcare projects.

Comenius Foundation is mostly focused on the wellbeing of children from rural areas and small towns, children from economically and culturally neglected communities. Foundation’s activities are targeted towards non-governmental organizations, representatives of local governments, parents, teachers, librarians, animators, and children directly. On the national level, Comenius Foundation promotes the educational needs of young children through publishing, preparing reports, conducting research, organizing conferences. On the local level, the organization provides training, projects, and consultations to rural municipalities and non-governmental organizations to help them introduce developmental and educational services for young children which equalize their life chances.

Comenius Foundation would like to share their experiences with up-scaling playgroup services for children a few months old to three or four years of age, within and outside Poland. The up-scaling methodology can be used for other programs as well as playgroup projects. The playgroup project offers meetings for young children and their parents or caregivers under the guidance of an animator. A playgroup makes it possible for adults to accompany their children in the classroom, which contributes to their children’s sense of wellbeing, helps parents enhance their parenting skills, and strengthens parent-child relationships. The Playgroups Plus project helps young unemployed mothers with job searches.

“I am very thankful for the playgroups that have been set up for our children, where they can feel at ease,” says Jumagul from Tajikistan – a mother of Mehron, a girl with right-sided paresis.The children learn and play together. During breaks, they wash their hands, eat fruit or have tea with biscuits. Each child has their own towel. After these meetings, at home, Mehron is able to act independently and helps to set the table, bringing spoons, tea dishes, and towels. I am very glad that my daughter is assisting me.”

Playgroups Plus was a pilot project. Now Comenius Foundation would like to scale it up! The aim is to determine the project's potential to improve the ability of young mothers to advance their professional careers in Early Childhood Education and Care services.

Are you an ISSA member with experience in this area? The Comenius Foundation would love to hear from you.