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TOY for Inclusion moves forward to phase two

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Great news! TOY for Inclusion has received extra funding that will allow the opening of more Play Hubs in 2019-2021.

The grant awarded by the European Commission will support the opening of extra Play Hubs and the expansion of the project to Turkey.

“We are delighted to hear that TOY for Inclusion’s Play Hubs can continue to bring services to many children and families of disadvantaged communities. These Play Hubs provide much needed opportunities for families to meet, for children and adults to play together and for parents to receive expert advice on how to nurture child development”, says Mathijs Euwema, Director of International Child Development Initiatives (ICDI) which coordinates the project.

The Play Hubs are inclusive spaces where children and families from different backgrounds are encouraged to play and learn: while children are allowed to borrow toys, information about childrearing, health, early learning and development is passed on informally to (grand)parents.

“I have never felt so welcomed and respected before”, said Ana Dirdova, Romani mother of six and Play Hub participant in Spišský Hrhov, Slovakia.

The project has created eight Play Hubs for young children in seven EU countries: one in Belgium, Croatia, Latvia, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and two in Italy.

Since their opening in early 2018, the Play Hubs have obtained encouraging results:

  • 1700 children participated to Play Hub activities.
  • 30% of children were from Roma origin, according to estimations.
  • 77 workshops and info-sessions for adults: including parenting support, intergenerational activities, hand-craft and toy-making workshops, info-sessions for parents in cooperation with other community services.

Thanks to the new funding, the project will open one new Play Hub in each of the participant country and will expand to Turkey.

The new phase will reach out to all marginalized children and not only Roma children. Also, an EU campaign will advocate for EU policy change in early childhood education and care (ECEC) and a capacity building trajectory for local authorities will be started. The goal is to embed the TOY for Inclusion approach to community-based ECEC in local and EU policy.

For future updates, stay tuned!

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