From Special School to Resource Centre: Supporting Vulnerable Young Children in Central and Eastern Europe: A Guide for Positive Change



This guide supports a wide range of professionals working alongside parents and caregivers in both special and mainstream systems to manage and implement the ongoing transitions that affect how special and mainstream institutions provide services and coordinate actions. This includes those who may be special educational needs teachers, special pedagogues, psychologists, teaching assistants, or sign language interpreters. It also includes mainstream teachers and other school staff working to support improvements in provision, which promote quality inclusive education for all children at preschool and school level. The guide introduces the principles of inclusion along with ideas and strategies that can be used to manage change. 

Learning Centers Network



The Learning Centers Network initiated by Balkan Sunflowers connects 40 Learning Centers managed by different NGOs in Albania. These centers include preschool services, curriculum support, literacy and science programs, and an education mediator targeting the most vulnerable children and their families. The mediator works with schools and families to ensure children's school enrolment. Due to these efforts, 93% of the eligible children from the areas where centers are and mediators work enroll in the first grade fo school.

Supporting the Early Development of Children in Informal Roma Settlements



The practice Supporting the early development of children in informal Roma settlements aims to improve the social inclusion of children aged birth to six and their families. The Know How Centre organizes activities aimed at enriching Roma parents' skills living in settlements to provide quality opportunities for their children to develop and learn and at enhancing the competencies of professionals working with young children.

Growing Together



The Growing Together project consisted of three parts: improving preschool education practices by using the ISSA Principles of Quality Pedagogy and parent and community involvement; building community and  partnerships at the primary school level, and parental education. The project's results were disseminated through Ministry of Education and other agencies.

Creating Inclusive Resource Centers



Inclusive Resource Centers (IRC) in five sites in four regions were developed under the programme supported  by USAID. Their main purpose is to provide complex inter-sectorial support to children with special needs, their parents and teachers working with these children in pre-school and primary classrooms trough psychological-medical-pedagogical consultations. 

The main achievements included:

1) increased number of services for parents of children with special needs;

2) increased level of trust;

3) more competent teachers.

Baytna Hubs – a network of identity-informed and trauma-informed ECD partners



Baytna Hubs is an initiative between Refugee Trauma Initiative (RTI) and Help Refugees, supported by Open Society Foundation, to scale up a specialist Early Childhood Development (ECD), called Baytna, which has been developed within the context of the Greek refugee crisis.

Thematic Unit: “What we need to know about coronavirus. How to protect ourselves and our families"



The materials aim to develop preventive skills of hygiene, behaviors of healthy lifestyle and awareness raising regarding COVID-19 for early childhood educators. The goal is to establish healthy lifestyle routines through age-appropriate thematic studies that can be incorporated in play time and time for reading.

Child-centered Democratic, Pre-school classrooms: The Step by Step Approach



For over 25 years, the Step by Step Program, flagship initiative for Early Childhood Education reform of the Open Society Foundations, has implemented a democratic child-centered classroom approach where families and children are placed at the heart of the pedagogical practice.

Environment that belongs to children. Teacher manual



The guidebook “Environment that Belongs to Children” focuses on creating an inclusive learning environment which many researchers call a “third teacher”, after parents and educators.

Date: 16-01-2020

Comprehensive guide on the Step by Step approach available for purchase

For over 25 years, the Step by Step Program, flagship initiative for Early Childhood Education reform of the Open Society Foundations, has implemented a democratic child-centered classroom approach where families and children are placed at the heart of the pedagogical practice. Now, you can learn more in the newly released guidebook.