REYN and Together Old and Young (TOY) joined forces to create TOY for Inclusion, a project to address increasingly worrying issues like discrimination and segregation that oppress Romani children from very early age.
Building on the success of the TOY project, TOY for Inclusion combines two approaches: it promotes intergenerational learning opportunities between older adults and young children as well as community-based early childhood education and care (ECEC).
TOY for Inclusion designs educational resources and establishes ECEC Play Hubs in seven European countries: Belgium, Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia – all REYN National Networks countries. Additionally, a TOY for Inclusion Play Hub will be established in Latvia.
What are TOY for inclusion ECEC Play Hubs?
ECEC Play hubs are safe Early Childhood Education and Care spaces where relationships between Roma and non-Roma young children and their families are built. They are located in areas that are reachable for both Roma and non-Roma families, and are designed and run by local committees composed by representatives of both communities, school and preschool teachers and local authorities.
In addition they are ‘special’ toy libraries that provide a toy-lending facility where:
> children and their families of all ages are welcomed to play games with each other
> information about childrearing, health, early learning and development can be passed informally to parents and grandparents, and where they can meet with other parents with different backgrounds and take part in creative and social activities
> local communities organize intergenerational activities involving young children and elderly people with and without Roma background.
Training to social workers and practitioners
During the project social workers and practitioners from Roma communities will receive training and develop competences to set-up and run ECEC Play Hubs involving young children (Roma and non-Roma), their families and older adults in their countries.
TOY for Inclusion is a project coordinated by International Child Development Initiatives – ICDI (NL). Other partners are the International Step-by-Step Association – ISSA (NL) and seven members of REYN: Educational Research Institute – ERI (Slovenia), Open Academy Step by Step – OASS (Croatia), Centre for Education Initiatives – CEI (Latvia), Wide Open School – WOS (Slovakia), Centre for Innovation in the Early Years – VBJK (Belgium), Associazione 21 Luglio (Italy) and Partners Hungary Foundation.
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.