Date: 27-11-2014

Roundtable on quality early learning to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

  • Together with the Bernard van Leer Foundation and JES Rijnland, ISSA hosted a roundtable within the Children’s Rights Summit organized by UNICEF on November 20, 2014 in Leiden.

Within the events organized by UNICEF, Leiden City Hall, Leiden University, the Child Rights Home and a number of other partners to mark the anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a Children’s Rights Summit took place on the 20th of November, the universal children’s day. Among the different meetings, ISSA, the Bernard van Leer Foundation and JES Rijnland hosted a roundtable on quality early learning. Professor Emeritus Martin Woodhead (Open University, UK) gave an opening speech on the importance of access to quality early years services for every young child. He outlined the relevance of the Convention on the Rights of the Child for the youngest children, which often tend to be forgotten when it comes to rights. Professor Woodhead stressed that high quality early childhood services can do a great deal to reduce inequalities in countries, but only if these services are for all children. His presentation led to group discussions among the practitioners, policy makers, parents and children who attended the roundtable. Aiming to generate recommendations to policy makers on increasing equity, access and quality in early years services, the sessions focused on the urge for universal access to quality services in order to reduce economic and social injustice; the need to rethink the early years curriculum with a holistic approach and the relevance of building educational services that respond to the social and political changes of our time, and which support the acquisition of 21st century skills. Children and parents reflected separately on how they wish early years centers would look like, what are their expectations from practitioners, and what best supports children’s development and learning. A summary report with their recommendations will be made available soon. Watch a short inteview to Martin Woodhead about this roundtable here: For more information on the Children’s Right Summit, visit UNICEF’s site. Visit the websites of ISSA’s partners, to find out more about their work: JES Rijnland and Bernard van Leer Foundation.'s%20Rights%20Summit_Roundtable%20on%20Early%20Childhood%20Development.pdf