The TOY for Inclusion consortium’s Monitoring and Evaluation report evaluates the impact of TOY for Inclusion’s Play Hubs from February to December 2021 and highlights the successes of this innovative approach and challenges that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This report focuses on recruitment and retention of ECEC staff, and examines the best ways to educate and train this staff, both through initial training and continuing professional development. It welcomes the fact that the vast majority of ECEC staff enjoy working with young children and know they make a very important contribution to children’s lives. However the sector is expanding, the expectations on staff are growing, and there are increasing opportunities to work with young children in a wider range of occupations. In this context, the report looks at how the ECEC sector can review its own practice and arrangements to ensure it attracts a sufficient number of well qualified and well-motivated staff. This report summarises the available research and looks at many of the approaches which have been used to strengthen national, regional or local practice.
The report also recognises that the quality of ECEC provision is highly dependent on the professionalism, competence and commitment of staff working in the sector – and it is therefore increasingly important that there is continued support for staff training and development. This report therefore proposes a set of core competences for ECEC assistants, core practitioners and ECEC leaders. In addition, it looks at the wide range of practices which are currently being used to strengthen the initial and continuing education and training of ECEC staff.
Khetaun (Together): With Key Steps to Inclusion of Romani Children into Quality Early Childhood Programs was an international project financed by the European Commission implemented in 4 countries (Slovenia, Latvia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic). This publication Khetaun was published at the end of the project. Readers will receive a holistic insight in the project implementation including examples of good practice of performing activities for Romani children and their parents which contribute to successful enrolment of Romani children and their parents in ECEC programmes and didactic and other materials for Romani children, parents, ECEC practitioners and policy makers.
This five-country wide round of research into the situation of Roma children in state care marks the latest in a decade-long series of interventions by the European Roma Rights Centre. The research covers four EU Member States: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Slovakia, as well as neighbouring Moldova. As was mentioned in the introduction, the plight of these most vulnerable children, and the issue of their fundamental rights and wellbeing, did not register as a priority when the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies was launched in 2011.
The publication of this research followed the launch of the European Commission’s EU Roma strategic framework for equality, inclusion and participation for 2020–2030. It also coincided with the finding by the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) in November 2020, that holds the Czech Republic responsible for large-scale and discriminatory placement of children with disabilities and Romani children in early childhood care institutions.
The Republic of Bulgaria has endeavoured, over the last three decades, to address the stark injustices evident in the socioeconomic situation of the majority of its Roma citizens and as evidenced in the country’s National Roma Integration Strategy 2012–2020. These efforts have accelerated since 2007, when Bulgaria became a full member of the European Union (EU). At present, Bulgaria is making important steps towards creating a national framework for early childhood development, a goal that remains high on the national agenda, and towards developing a more integrated approach to support parents and children in the early years. This RECI+ Report carries the explicit intention of providing Bulgarian authorities and civil society with a timely and informed account of the situation of Bulgarian Roma children during early childhood, and, in so doing, supporting government and other relevant actors to ensure equal and unhindered access to inclusive and integrated quality education, health, and social care for young Roma children and their families.
Read the policy brief in English here.
This report on the early childhood education and care (ECEC) of young Roma children in the Czech Republic departs somewhat in its approach from previous Roma Early Childhood Inclusion (RECI+) Studies and Reports. The preparation of this report was led by the Open Society Foundations. The RECI initiative, which is ongoing, is a joint venture of three Sponsoring Agencies, namely: the Open Society Foundations Early Childhood Program, the Roma Education Fund, and UNICEF.
The principle reasons for a Special Report on Roma Inclusion in Early Childhood Education and Care at this stage of events, and not a full RECI+ Research Study and Report, include: the critical importance of ECEC for all children, particularly those
from marginalized and economically disadvantaged backgrounds;1 the pressing need for a timely contribution to the ongoing legislative actions and important national debates surrounding Roma education and inclusion in the Czech Republic; and to assist and support the government and public authorities, and educational decision makers and practitioners tasked with fulfilling their responsibilities in a context of critical international scrutiny.
Read the report in Czech here.
The network of experts working on the social dimension of education and training (NESET) has recently published an ad hoc report titled ‘Overview of the integration of Roma citizens in Spain and some transferable lessons for the EU’.
The new report, prepared by Silvia Carrasco Pons and Gabriela Poblet Denti, provides an overview of the social integration of Roma in Spain, evidence on the progress made, effective policies and approaches within the areas of employment, education, housing and health.