Starting in 2020 and funded by the European Union, the project “Inclusive kindergartens for the quality education of Roma – ending Roma segregation” operates in 11 kindergartens, reaching more than 1000 children. The project consortium is formed by the Municipality of Józsefváros (8th district of Budapest) – the most multicultural district of Budapest, Partners Hungary Foundation – an ISSA Member organization and REYN Hungary host organization – and the Rosa Parks Foundation.
The project aims to offer children with different ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds quality pre-school education – both for the disadvantaged and middle-class families. Each kindergarten has to have a balanced mix of Roma, children with special educational needs and foreign children.
With the leadership committed to ending segregation, the municipality provided the methodology framework aiming to combat the discrimination and/or segregation of Roma children, enhanced the integration of students from various ethnic and social economic backgrounds, and adjusted the kindergartens’ pedagogical methodology to be inclusive and of high quality. One of the first steps for the development of the programme was to renovate the kindergarten buildings and make them more attractive to all parents.
The task of Partners Hungary Foundation’was to ensure that both the district level and institutional strategic planning and its implementation are carried out with the involvement of all stakeholders, and that kindergartens updated their methodological tools and offer new services in line with modern educational principles and the expectations of parents.
Among other contributions, Partners Hungary developed a method that was implemented in each kindergarten in the 8th district. The “Micro-project system” lays on participation with a bottom-up approach, motivation and incentives and support (trainings, peer learning exchanges) when it comes to kindergarten teachers.
In addition, the consortium introduced new educational programmes in all 11 kindergartens such as:
- English (play-based English as Second Language sessions)
- Magic Kindergarten
- Minecraft program (educational use of Information and Communications Technology)
- Superar music program
- Green kindergartens (climate awareness)
Altogether a total of 48 microprojects were implemented.
After two years, the collaborative project has already produced a number of excellent outcomes: the focus on early childhood education has resulted in a child-friendly municipality, the kindergartens went through an organisational development process and teachers took part in professional development. New educational programs have been initiated, resulting in renewed profiles of the kindergartens and created more space for innovation.
The complex methodology and tools which were developed and tested within this project will be available to all municipalities and other kindergarten managers who would like to bring about change to their kindergartens based on the same principles.
Kovács, I. J., Deák, É., Erőss, G. (2022). A complex intervention for inclusive kindergartens – analysis of a sozialmarie prize winner innovation in Budapest. Conference paper. ICERI2022 Proceedings. 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, 7-9 November, 2022, Seville, Spain. https://doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2022.0378