Access and quality of early childhood programs for Romani children and their parents

The content reflects the views only of the author, and the e-RR project partner consortium cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Country/partner countries

Project lead partner/organization and contact person (e-mail, links) project website
Educational Research Institute Slovenia, Developmental Research Center for Pedagogical Initiatives Step by Step

Samanta Baranja

Project information – start and end date (if available)
January 2014 - December 2016

Summary (goals and purposes of the project)
The main aim of the project is to form three models of ensuring equity and access to high quality early education for Romani children:

1) The model for expanding the offered public preschool programmes for Romani children, who are not included in the preschool programme, and their parents;

2) The model for improving quality of direct educational work in classes of the first (0-3) and the second (3-6) age group, in which Romani children are included;

3) The model for simultaneous activity of public preschools in expanding the offer for Romani children and their parents and raising quality of direct educational work in classes with Romani children.

Results of the project
1) For Romani children, who are already enrolled in preschool:
• Improved communication skills
• Greater inclusion into classroom community (interactions)
• Higher attendance
• Quality improvement of stimulations for development of their potentials
• Established and strengthened trust in educational staff, other children and other adults

2) For Romani children, who are not enrolled into preschool:
• Inclusion into activities for Romani children and parents
• Easier transition into preschool
• Improved developmental stimulations in home environment
• Established trust in educational professionals
• Acquainted with a new environment
• Enabled contacts with other children and adults
• Enriched developmental possibilities with various didactic materials
• Developed communication skills

3) For Romani parents:
• Changed attitude towards preschool and preschool staff
• Changed attitude towards education and their own role in this process
• Increased trust in preschools and other public institutions
• Active inclusion into the educational process
• Active inclusion into decision making process about preschool programmes (content, way of realisation, process)
• Bigger support for their child’s development

4) For preschool teachers:
• Professional and personal development
• Changes in attitudes, diminishing prejudice towards Roma
• Exchange of experiences with other professionals
• Becoming advocate for the rights of marginalized children
• Encouraging teachers in becoming an active member of REYN Slovenia
• Making connections and sharing experiences on national and international level
• Raised awareness about their professional competence in supporting the realisation of Romani children’s rights

5) For preschools:
• Established inclusive education values and social justice values on the level of the entire preschool staff
• Formed core team of professionals on preschool level that is reliable in assessing quality and knows how to use the ISSA tools for quality improvement, especially with regards to inclusion and social justice in the field of assuring high quality education for all children
• Formed core team that knows how to promote the creating of learning communities
• Connected with other preschools/schools nationaly and internationaly through REYN Slovenia

5) For community level:
• Preschools connected with other institutions and NGO’s from local environment with the intention of having active support in the realisation of activities for Romani children and their parents
• Influencing the opinion of local financiers in making decisions about the programmes for Romani children and their parents
• Representatives of local institutions becoming active members of REYN Slovenia and connecting with members of international REYN network

Who will benefit from this project (target group)
Target groups:
- Romani children enrolled in preschools aged 0-3, 3-6 and their parents/families
- Other children and families included in preschool
- Romani children not included in preschools aged 0-3 and 3-6 and their parents/families
- Other children and families not included in preschools
- Preschool teachers working in the 0-3 and 3-6 age groups
- Preschool management
- Romani teaching assistants
- Local administrators, staff employed in different local institutions, working with Romani population

Sources of funding
Open Society Foundations London