Date: 28-03-2014

ISSA proudly releases its Annual Report 2013

  • The development of the Romani Early Years Network; the launch of the Early Years Regional Alliance and ISSA’s consolidation as an umbrella for early childhood development across Europe and Central Asia through the admission of more members, among the most relevant achievements of the year.
  • ISSA has also stepped into the area of early childhood education and care services for children from zero to three years old, a big and promising challenge.

Within the framework of a 2013-2015 strategic plan focused on “growth and depth”, the association has gone through a year of major changes and achievements positioning itself more firmly both in its region of intervention (Europe and Central Asia) and in the field of Early Childhood Development (ECD). With regard to its first pillar of action - promoting access and equity of care and education, ISSA has launched the Early Years Regional Alliance, a new platform for Europe and Central Asia to advocate for competent inclusive ECD systems, grounded in a theory of change. Moreover, the Romani Early Years Network (REYN) has experienced a large acceptance, with almost 300 members and a very active participation through social media and in the professional development events. In its second pillar of action - promoting high quality and professionalism in early years services, ISSA has gone through another year of strengthening members’ capacity to implement the resources on quality, focusing on the further development of the Assessment Instrument and of a comprehensive Implementation Guide. ISSA has also conducted a survey among its members on early childhood services from birth to three years old and a desk research as a starting point for the development of a quality framework targeting this age group, new to ISSA’s scope of intervention. Lastly, within its third pillar of action - aiming at the civil society, community and family’s participation in children’s development and learning, the association has concentrated its efforts on strengthening the parents’ role during the very first years of their children, from birth to three years old. In this regard, ISSA is leading the preparation of a core training package focusing on home visitors to provide them with the skills towards a more holistic approach to child development, parenthood and learning stimulation during the first years. From the point of view of the association’s structure and operations, 2013 has marked a new phase in ISSA’s history. The association has welcomed 14 new affiliate members and 5 new full members from all over the world, expanding itself to new countries like Argentina, the United States, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Greece and The Netherlands. Another significant change was the relocation of Secretariat’s office from Budapest, Hungary to Leiden in The Netherlands, the country where ISSA is legally registered. Three staff members from the former office have relocated to Leiden, being joined by two additional new staff members. 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 Annual report, please contact Alejandra Mahiques at or download it from