The next stage of life: addressing the changing needs of Ukrainian refugee children and parents
As of June 17th 2022, more than 4 million Ukrainian refugees have arrived in Poland, of which over 1.1 million have applied for temporary residence, allowing them to be legally employed (as well as receive other benefits such as healthcare). The demographic cross-section of registered refugees from Ukraine shows that almost 50% are children. This has caused a significant challenge as the current system of care for nursery and pre-school children is struggling to keep up with these needs. Although steps have been taken, like increasing the numbers of children in nursery and pre-school groups, these are still not sufficient for providing quality care for children with trauma.
In its effort to respond to these needs, Fundacja Rozwoju Dzieci (FRD) is entering the second stage of SPYNKA – FRD’s program to support children under 6 years old and mothers fleeing the war in Ukraine by providing necessary childcare. In the first phase FRD focused on opening “drop-in” childcare centers next to the refugee services offices as well as creating and facilitating Playgroups in high density Ukrainian communities.
100 daily nursery and preschool care programs for Ukrainian refugees in 100 days
FRD’s original plan focused on creating various forms of temporary care and support for children and refugee mothers — with permanent forms of childcare planned in the later stages of the project. With the financial support of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Foundation established 30 Spynka programs. In addition to drop-in care points — such as the one operating at the UNHCR headquarters — FRD has been training Ukrainian facilitators for over two months and has already opened locally facilitated playgroups for children up to 6 years old.
Currently, there are 28 childcare centers in 4 Polish provinces:
- 6 in Lublin
- 4 in the Podkarpacie region
- 11 in the Tri-City (Gdansk/Gdynia/Sopot
- 3 in Łomianki
- 4 in Warsaw
Although several more will open in the coming weeks, there are still not enough childcare facilities to keep up with the growing needs. More and more children will require daily care as their mothers need to start working to cover the basic needs of the family. For this reason, FRD has set the ambitious and critical goal of opening 100 childcare centers in 100 days.
FRD is seeking cooperation and actively searching for partners and sponsors — entrepreneurs, organizations, local governments, companies, individuals — that would like to become part of making the 100 SPYNKA programs a reality.
For more information, contact Julia Trzcińska at mailto:email@example.com
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