ISSA stresses the importance of putting very young children and their families at the centre of all early childhood interventions and programs provided through a diverse range of services. Concerning the age group birth to three age group ISSA has put the focus on quality.
We think that a shared understanding of quality is crucial to consistently addressing a child’s uniqueness by all service providers across sectors (health, education and social welfare). Also, there is a need across the globe, for better coordination among agencies providing different kinds of services to infants, young children and their families.
We have produced two resources about the 'birth to three' age group:
The 'Early Childhood Education and Care Services for Children from Birth to Three years Old' (2013)
It is a survey run among ISSA members to map the strengths, weaknesses, and the gaps that exist in early childhood systems within ISSA regions. In particular, we focused on relevant aspects like legislations, types of services and their financing as well as the quality of the professional staff and the access of the children to these services. The report informed the need for developing an international framework for all services targeting the very young children and their families. Access the report HERE.
The 'Quality Framework for Early Childhood Practice in Services for Children under Three Years of Age' (2016)
The Framework is grounded in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and stands for the centrality of the child and family in conceptualizing, designing and implementing programs dedicated to this age group, no matter the type of service, program, or sector. It comprises 31 principles and 143 recommended practices, grouped around 9 Focus Areas (see below), thus covering the complexity of the practices and responsibilities that binds all professionals working in early childhood services.
The first six focus areas are:
- Family and Community
- Inclusion, Diversity and Values of Democracy
- Health, Well-Being, and Nutrition
- Development and Learning
- Observation, Documentation, Reflection, and Planning
These focus areas address practitioners in early childhood settings who work directly with children under three and/or their families, in different settings.
The final three focus areas:
- Enabling Environments
- Professional Development
- Intersectoral Cooperation
Invitation for dialogue
These pertain to all professionals, those working directly and indirectly with children, and address families and caregivers. Through this publication, ISSA launched an invitation for dialogue and joint action among practitioners, managers, policy- and decision-makers, program coordinators, trainers/mentors from all sectors and institutions active in early childhood systems, so they may develop an articulated vision and a shared understanding around quality practices impacting the lives of the youngestchildren.