REYN Slovenia

Roma Population

According to the 2002 Population Census, 3 246 persons stated that they were members of the Roma community and 3 834 persons stated that the Roma language was their mother tongue. According to the Office of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for National Minorities, there are between 7 000 and 12 000 Roma living in Slovenia, which represents 0,5% Slovenian population.

Main Goals

Creating an inclusive, professional and learning community in which members deepen their diverse knowledge and skills, share experiences, promote best practices, establish effective partnerships and care for professional development.

Promoting good practice between educators and other actors who work with Roma families in the field of early childhood development.

Organising and implementing training courses for professional development intended not only for educators but also for representatives of local authorities, policy makers, volunteers.

Promoting knowledge and understanding of the Roma community, their culture and language through study visits and exchanges.

Main Challenges

  • The majority of Roma living in Slovenia have poor education or none at all, are mainly without employment, live in poor housing conditions and are consequently severely materially deprived.
  • Although there are no detailed records on the number of Roma living in poverty or on other key socio-economic indicators, since data in these records are not entered in relation to ethnic origin, a very high degree of their material deprivation is evident on site.
  • The Roma population faces a higher risk of social exclusion and poverty than the rest of the population of Slovenia.

Activities Carried Out

– Trainings for educators and other relevant representatives from local/national level with thematic focus on developing high-quality and culturally sensitive early childhood education services for Roma families.

– Conferences, expert meetings, study visits.

– Creating short videos on the importance of the inclusion and cooperation with Roma ECEC professionals and on the importance of inclusive learning environment.

– Workshops for children and parents in Roma settlements.

– Developing materials for children, parents and ECEC practitioners and (pre)school directors.

– Establishing local action teams in several environments which include actors at the local community level who encounter Roma families in their daily work and can contribute to more successful inclusion of Roma children and their parents into education system, especially in pre-school programs.

– A survey on the number of existing Roma ECEC professionals in Slovenia and the prospects for their professional work in this field.

Ongoing Activities

  • TOY for Inclusion is the gateway to education and care for many children of disadvantaged communities. A particular focus is put on Roma, migrant and socially disadvantaged children. By creating Play Hubs at the local level, TOY for Inclusion provides opportunities for children, adults and communities to integrate and develop. For more detailed results, download the brochure here.

Main Outcomes

– Informed local community representatives and policy-makers on local/national level about the importance of quality ECEC education, especially for children and their families from social-economic vulnerable environments.

– Regular contacts between different actors from different sectors (education, health, welfare, etc.) at the local community level who encounter Roma families in their work and can contribute to more successful inclusion of Roma children and their parents into pre-school programs.

– Higher awareness and competences of ECEC practitioners about the importance of enrolling Roma children in preschool and about the importance of ensuring high-quality and culturally sensitive early childhood education services for Roma children.

– Raised awareness of Roma parents on importance of enrolling children in preschool and their competences for child’s development.

– Increased number of Roma children enrolled into preschool programmes.

– Higher quality of practice in preschool groups with Roma children.