Date: 22-04-2014

ISSA presents at the World Bank’s conference

  • The conference took place in Bucharest, Romania, on April 7-8, bringing together close to 250 participants from Europe and Central Asia.

Under the theme Strengthening Early Childhood Education Systems: Investing Early to Ensure Effective Learning, the seventh World Bank Europe and Central Asia Education Conference gathered education experts and policy makers in a learning forum in which ISSA has actively participated. Liana Ghent, Executive Director of ISSA, launched an invitation to all participating development agencies to join the Early Years Regional Alliance for Europe and Central Asia, a platform to advocate for equitable high quality services for all children and their families. She also urged governments to consider the alliance both an ally and a resource for their work to promote early childhood development. Dr. Mihaela Ionescu, ISSA's Program Director, stressed the importance of sustainable models for improving the quality of practices in early childhood services, introducing ISSA’s approach in providing professional development to practitioners and the Quality Resource Pack as a valuable tool package for nurturing professionalism. Dr. Jan Peeters, Director of the Belgian NGO VBJK and ISSA’s Board Member, opened the conference with a keynote presentation focusing on the importance of the early years in building children's readiness for life. He listed the large body of evidence from recent research that advocates for investing in high quality and equitable early childhood services. The conference, jointly organized by the World Bank in partnership with the Romanian Ministry of National Education, UNICEF and the Open Society Foundations explored the mechanisms that support all children to smoothly transit from preschool to primary education, focusing on the countries of the European and Central Asian region. The general overview, agenda and the presentations are available by clicking here. ISSA is a vibrant network that connects professionals and non-profit organizations working in the field of early childhood development. Established in the Netherlands in 1999, ISSA’s community today stretches across the globe with its more than 50 members primarily located in Europe and Central Asia. Building upon the Step by Step Program initiated by the Open Society Foundations in 1994, ISSA aims to ensure equal access to quality care and education for all young children from birth to 10 years old. This mission is implemented through three main pillars of action: equal access for all children; promoting high-quality and professionalism in early years services and empowering parents and communities to be part of the children’s development and learning. For more information on the Early Years Regional Alliance or ISSA’s second pillar of action related to nurturing professionalism, please visit the website’s section .