Supporting Roma women to become early childhood professionals in Hungary

Access and the quality of services can be increased by ensuring more diversity in the workforce. The REYN National Network Hungary has been training Roma women to help them entering the profession.

“I am really grateful for this opportunity, I have always wanted to work with children but could never afford to study. I used to work in a kindergarten but couldn’t keep the job because I wasn’t qualified”, says Eva. She prefers not to disclose her real name for privacy reasons.

With other Roma women, Eva followed a training provided and financed by the REYN National Network Hungary. She is now a qualified kindergarten technical assistant.

REYN Hungary has been recently supporting the professional development of Roma women in early childhood education and care.

Diversity in the workforce

“It is important to have caregivers and assistants with a diverse background. We are happy that this project can contribute to it”, said Flora Bacso, training coordinator for REYN Hungary.

The evidence is clear, having teachers and care givers with the same cultural background as the children is an asset that can be used for building trust with children and families.

“My dream is to provide a solid emotional background to deprived children in the early years”, Eva says. “Once, we had a little boy who was living with his grandfather in a bungalow” – she continues. “They didn’t have running water, so the child’s clothes were often not clean. While many of the staff and the children kept a distance from him, I bathed him and washed his clothes. My colleagues were not sure this was a good move, these are not tasks that are usually done by kindergarten assistants. However, when I saw that other children started to play with him, I knew I was doing the right thing”, Eva concludes.

“It is inspiring to work with motivated people who are studying for a new career with all the effort it takes. Despite coming from low income families they manage to raise their children, follow their classes on Saturdays, study for the exams and still do 40 hours of kindergarten practice per month. I am honored to be their mentor”, Flora Bacso declares.

REYN Hungary

REYN Hungary is a vibrant national network that offers its members opportunities for professional development across the early childhood development sector and advocates for more Roma early childhood professionals in the country. They also promote access to high quality services for young Roma children and families.

Read more about REYN Hungary.