Toy for Inclusion
Toys to share, play to care
About the project
The project developed the proven good practices from TOY for Inclusion on a wider scale to include migrant and marginalised children in general, not just Roma. They were implemented in additional communities in the 7 countries where TOY for Inclusion was implemented, as well as in one new country, EU candidate country Turkey. Priority was given to providing training and mentoring to practitioners in education, health and social care, community development and local authorities to support them in dealing with diversity and promoting inclusion. Experienced practitioners and local policymakers in the TOY for Inclusion approach will act as role models for those who are new to the approach.
The project focused on the very youngest children between 0 and 6 years of age who were not yet of compulsory school age or in the first year of primary school. It proposed to expand, re-adapt, transfer and scale up the already piloted TOY for Inclusion approach, which developed a participatory, community-based methodology for the design and implementation of non-formal ECEC services focused on social inclusion within a 'progressive universalism' approach, with a particular focus on the inclusion of Roma children and families. ‘Toys to Share, Play to care’ extended the reach of the TOY for Inclusion approach to include migrant, minority, and ‘harder to reach’ children more in general by creating new non-formal ECEC initiatives in 8 EU countries and building the capacities of local authorities to embed this approach at systemic and policy level.
The project involved organisations that were already implementing the TOY for Inclusion approach as well as organisations and countries that were new to it. Through the project, the first group ensured the continuity, scaling-up and sustainability of existing ECEC initiatives. Each country developed contextualised approaches based on local needs within a common framework: some countries created new ECEC initiatives in a new location; others invested in creating a network of local organisations implementing approaches and activities focused on social inclusion and inclusive ECEC. The second group - new partners - received training and support from the more experienced partners on how to invest in social inclusion and implemented non-formal ECEC initiatives in one locality in their country. In total, 14 ECEC initiatives were implemented in 7 EU countries.