ISSA Connects 2021

In 2021, the ISSA community hosted three professional development sessions to stimulate learning and sharing within our Network focused on how we can support meaningful interactions in ECEC, building organizational resilience, and early childhood education and care during the pandemic. You can access the recordings here.

ISSA Connects 2022

In 2022, four sessions  were hosted to nurture increased expertise and impact within our Network. You can watch the recordings via the link shared with the corresponding sessions below.


ISSA Council Meeting | 7 December 2022 | 10:00 - 11:30 CET 

You can watch the recordings in English or Ukrainian.

Join us and your fellow Members on 7 December for the ISSA Council Meeting. During the meeting we will discuss important Council issues, receive an update from the Board, plan the next Board elections and outline plans for 2023.

Voting will be organized both in advance and after the Council Meeting.

Voting online prior to the Council Meeting, between 30 November-6 December.

The following issues will be voted on:

→ Vote to endorse the Board’s decisions on membership applications in 2022
→ Vote on Agenda Council Meeting 2022
→ Vote on Minutes Council Meeting 2021

Voting online after the Council Meeting, between 9-15 December. The following issues will be voted on:

→ Vote to endorse the Audit Report 2021
→ Vote on Work Plan and Budget 2023
→ Vote to revise Internal Regulations


ISSA Connects for Ukraine | 7 December 2022 | 13.30-15.30 CET  

You can watch the recordings in English or Ukrainian.

ISSA Connects for Ukraine will feature ISSA Network’s efforts to provide timely and meaningful support to children and families that have been affected by the war in Ukraine and in countries where they fled.

After a brief introduction to ISSA’s Five Streams of Action guiding the Ukraine Response Initiative for the medium and long-term, and an overview of the support provided in the past eight months, ISSA Members will present information about their contexts. Members will share the challenges they face, as well as the solutions they are providing to support the children and families they work with throughout the devastating impacts of war.

Additional information will also be provided on resources and training opportunities offered by the ISSA Secretariat.

Speakers and Topics 

Working with municipalities and setting up non-formal services  
Speaker: Teresa Ogrodzińska, Vice-President of the Board, Comenius Foundation for Child Development, Poland 

Working with internally displaced persons in Ukraine 
Speaker: Eleonora Kulchar, Head (director) of the Transcarpathian Regional Charitable Fund "Blaho" and National Coordinator Project Network REYN - Ukraine  

Training ECD practitioners on Psychological First Aid 
Speakers: Cristiana Boca, Early Education Department Coordinator/training coordinator and Adriana Dobritoiu, Primary Education Department Coordinator/training coordinator, Step by Step Center, Romania 

Learning from the Armenian experience  
Speaker: Marine Mkrtchyan, Executive Director, Step by Step Benevolent Foundation, Armenia 


ISSA Connects for Sharing | 8 December 2022 | 10.00-12.00 CET 

ISSA Connects for Sharing offers an opportunity to gather new knowledge from the field. Get inspired by fellow ISSA Members who will share their own resources, approaches, and practices. 

At the beginning of the session, the ISSA Secretariat will briefly share information about the most recent resources developed under different initiatives which might be of interest and useful to you. Then in three parallel sessions, ISSA Members will present interesting resources, approaches and tools from their programmatic work. At the end of each presentation, a Q&A session will provide you with the opportunity to learn more and discuss more about the knowledge and resources shared.

The agenda of the ISSA Connects for Sharing is as follows:

  Sharing new resources/approaches/tools by the ISSA Secretariat – Plenary session (30min)
  Sharing new resources/approaches/tools by ISSA Members - Parallel sessions with 3 presentations per session and Q&A (90 min)

Parallel Session 1 | Watch the recording here

1. Mektebim Program, providing sustainable community-based preschool services - United Aid for Azerbaijan (UAFA), Azerbaijan
2. Accompagnez - Moi (Support Me) tool and a new approach in developing social-emotional skills from early years - Ensemble pour 
    l’Éducation de la Petite Enfance, France

3. P.I.C.C.O.L.O – a tool for promoting responsive caregiving in formal and non-formal settings for children (under 6 years) and their
- Centro per la Salute del Bambino (Center for Child Health and Development), Italy

Parallel Session 2 | Watch the recording here

1. A Learning Network on involving fathers in the education of young children - De SLOEP, Belgium.
2. Planned Activities for Cohesive Education (PACE) curriculum for children (age 6 to 10) - Balkan Sunflowers, Kosovo.
3. Smooth transitions between preschool and school, results from the project TIM – Transition Is our Mission. Educational Research
    Institute/Step by Step Centre for Quality in Education, Slovenia and Open Academy Step by Step, Croatia

Parallel Session 3 | Watch the recording here

1. Forest Trail for Children- involvement of parents through non-formal services - Mala Ulica, Slovenia.
2. Lessons learned from the Moldovan Early Childhood Intervention system - CEI VOINICEL, Moldova.
3. School of critical thinking and values, a methodological tool - CEI Step by Step, Bosnia and Herzegovina.


ISSA Connects for Learning | 8 December 2022 | 13.30-15.00 CET  

During ISSA Connects for Learning, you will get a chance to learn from fellow ISSA Members in a Member-led learning exchange on content areas that are of interest for your programs.

The 90-minute ISSA Connects for Learning is organized in three parallel groups. Each group will address one of the following main areas of content:  

1. Innovative approaches in ECD programs, pre- and in-service training of staff  | Watch the recording here
2. Cross-sectoral work for early childhood development – non-formal services as a leverage for cross-sectoral cooperation | Watch the recording here
3. Effective social inclusion policies and programs | Watch the recording here

Each participant is free to select the content area (group) they would like to contribute to and learn more about. The group discussions will be opened by two different ISSA Members, who will address specific issues related to the themes above.

Note that ISSA Connects for Learning is a self-managed session, therefore you are invited to come prepared with issues, challenges that you would like to discuss and learn more about with your peers.


ISSA Connects to Celebrate: 10 years of REYN | 9 December 2022 | 10.00-12.00 CET 

Watch the recording here.

ISSA Connects to Celebrate will be a special event that will provide an opportunity to learn from the 10 years of existence of ISSA's REYN initiative, about its unique contribution to creating quality environments for young Roma children to develop, learn and thrive.

Speakers and Topics

Unlocking potential: Mobilizing expertise to ensure Roma children thrive.
1. Dr Sarah Klaus, Honorary Board Member of ISSA and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Georgetown University’s Center for Child and Human Development
2. Dr Adrian Marsh, Independent Researcher in Romani Studies
3. Zsuzsa Laszlo, National Coordinator, REYN Hungary  

Nurturing professionalism: Strengthening the capacity of ECD professionals working with young Roma children and their families.
1. Zorica Trikic, Senior Program Manager, ISSA 
2. Samanta Baranja, Program Manager, Center for School and Outdoor Education, Slovenia  

Promoting workforce diversity: Advocating for more Roma professionals in the ECD workforce.
1. Stanislav Daniel, Grants Manager, Porticus, Slovakia
2. Driton Berisha, Grassroots Team Leader, Opre Roma Kosovo, and Member of the Steering Board, KRAEYN, Kosovo
3. Carmen Tanasie, Policy Officer, ERGO, Belgium  

Breaking the silence: Bringing evidence on the status of young Roma children in Europe.
1. Aljosa Rudas, REYN Coordinator and Program Manager at ISSA, Netherlands
2. Fernando Macías Aranda, Professor at the University of Barcelona, Roma Studies Group-CREA researcher, Spain
3. Miroslav Sklenka, National Coordinator, REYN Slovakia
4. Sanela Besic, National Coordinator, REYN Bosnia and Herzegovina
5. MA, Brigita Mark, Senior Adviser, Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, Vulnerable Groups of Children in Preschool Department, Slovenia
6. Representative from EC-Just-Roma-Team, and other stakeholders