Current projects


Strengthening and Supporting the Early Childhood Development Workforce – ECD Plus

The main aim of the project is to support the partnership initiative aimed at promoting innovation in the education of children in an early age, their parents and teachers from kindergartens and the exchange of experiences between participating partners. The overall goal of the project is to strengthen a support the continuous professional development of the ECD Workforce working with young children from socially disadvantaged environments and their parents by providing them with the pilot training on a new teaching methodology that can be used in their everyday work in formal and non-formal educational settings accross Europe. Project will be targeting to increase access to multi-sectoral services for parents and children (including prenatal care) and to enhance and improve early learning and parent-child interaction. A subsidiary goal is the engagement of the local municipal and national authorities in each country in the implementation of the project, in order to guarantee the effectiveness of the delivery in the short term and the long-term sustainability.

Project results and activities:

  • Report on National ECD Policies in Partner Countries
  • Training manual – Working with young children from socially disadvantaged environments and their parents
  • Training manual – Respecting diversity
  • Training of trainers 
  • Training of ECD Workforce
  • ECD Policy Recommendations for EU and National Stakeholders.

MakerEDU – Action-oriented media literacy for educational professionals

The project aims to provide educational professionals with offers of action-oriented media education in the field of making and maker education. In detail, a training manual for educational professionals will be developed and made available digitally. Practical instructions for pedagogical work will be produced and made available digitally. In addition, a catalogue of requirements with a concept for the future use of the space will be created in order to enable the establishment of an own makerspace in the future. The further training of the target group in media education is important for the design and quality of life in rural areas, as otherwise there is a risk of disconnection from urban regions and the exclusion of certain social groups.

The following activities will be implemented to achieve the project objective: 1. development of a vocational training manual for educational staff with appropriate theoretical background knowledge on action-oriented media literacy and making, methods and didactics as well as learning experiences and learning goals for children and young people. 2. development of a catalogue of requirements for a makerspace in rural regions of Europe with a concept for space Application year 2021 Application round 1 KA2 KA220-VET – Cooperation partnerships in vocational education and training Form ID KA220-VET-91C04FDF Application deadline (Brussels time) 20 May 2021 12:00:00 7/ 89 EN utilisation. 3. to create a collection of practice-proven, topic-related and target group-specific pedagogical practical instructions for concrete teaching and learning with children and young people in a makerspace.


AFLATOUN – Boosting social inclusion through targeted action

This project supports partnership initiative aimed at promoting innovation in social and financial education of children, their parents and teachers/professionals and exchange of experiences between participating partners. We want to bring a change to education in the field our schools very rarely work in, or they work only very informally and marginally, without any specific objectives. The project will improve competencies of teachers working with target groups. Parents will be strongly involved in direct work with children, because they are the main characters in children’s lives and they can influence their attitudes and positive approach to the world. The project is focused on developing competences of primary and secondary school children, especially social and civic competences by implementing an innovative program of integrated social and financial education Aflatoun in 3 participating countries (Slovakia, Serbia, Netherlands). Social and financial education curriculum of this program – which should be a crucial part of education in the aftermath of COVID-19 – is built on principle that a person´s personal, social and economic lives are interconnected and should be taught in a holistic manner to enable children to pursue their goals and reach their full potential. Aflatoun motivates children to be active, self-motivated learners eager to understand the world they live in. Preschool and primary education can contribute greatly to combating educational disadvantages, if certain conditions are met. The most effective intervention programs involve intensive, early starting, child focused, centre-based education with strong parent involvement, parent education, educational home activities and measures of family support. Our project meets all these conditions. This project empowers children and their parents through civil and social competences development to become agents of change for them and their communities. 

Activities of the project are connected and there is a specific order they need to happen in in order to successfully multiply the knowledge of the program Aflatoun. At first we need to train a group of trainers. Their task will then be to train other teachers/professionals. All these trained teachers/teaching professionals/youth workers will then carry out workshops in their schools/facilities with children, young people and parents involved.


ECEC Play Hubs

The overall goal is to combat segregation of Romani young children and families, and enhance social cohesion through community based inclusive Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services. The project also aims to improve the transition experience of Romani children to schools.

This project promotes the active involvement of Romani and non-Romani communities in ECEC services, through the development of ECEC Play Hubs that are a successful approach to overcome segregation and provide access to quality non-formal ECEC service. These services also improve transition experience to formal education and build the capacity of parents.

Objectives:

  • To improve the responsiveness and accountability of local authorities, particularly elected and senior civil servants, towards marginalised Roma communities;
  • To build the capacity of local authorities and Roma community representatives to develop and implement policies and public services that are inclusive of all, including Roma;
  • To strengthen Roma families in Roma communities by supporting Roma parents (both mothers and fathers) in their efforts at raising their children in a safe, secure and caring family environment;
  • To offer for parents information, social skills and knowledge regarding early childhood development, about the importance of their role, information regarding alternative, effective parenting techniques, foster improved communication and understanding between parents and their children, supplementing the discovery and learning experiences of their children and promoting positive parental attitudes towards education;
  • To enlarge the range of educational materials for children, especially those from marginalized Roma communities;
  • To improve and build the trust between all the involved stakeholders.

Main activities:

  • Study visits;
  • Stakeholders mapping, local needs and challenges analysis;
  • Formation of Local Action Teams;
  • Training design;
  • Training of Trainers;
  • Training of practitioners at the local level;
  • Setting up of 4 ECEC Play Hubs – Spissky Hrhov, Roskovce, Spisska Nova Ves and Dobsina;
  • Implementation of community-based non-formal educational activities – lending of toys and books to families, trust-based parenting workshops, learning through play workshops, health enlightenment, common inter-generational learning/teaching/training activities;
  • Home-visiting program;
  • Assessment, Evaluation and Monitoring;
  • Advocacy dissemination events.


Governance, Benchmarking and Training Tools for Diversity Positive ECEC Provision (Diversity+)

Diversity+ looks to develop governance, benchmarking, recognition and professionalization tools for Early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals in order to understand and improve their current approach to Diversity inclusion.

Diversity+ will develop a complementary „top down“ approach which allows ECEC organizations to fully understand how different Diversity identities fit into their services, and so develop approaches which are fully inclusive to all. This will be achieved by calibrating the EU Quality Framework for ECEC in light of inclusiveness of provision. Diversity+ resources will create a structured and supported approach to quality inclusive service design. Partners will first develop a Diversity+ Charter which will set out the minimum requirements an ECEC organization needs to conform to in order to consider its provision Diversity positive. This will be achieved through desk and field research into current best practices and emergent trends across Europe. The Charter will then be used as the basis for an interactive digital Assessment tool which ECEC practitioners will be able to use to assess their current services and then track their improvement. This will be achieved through incentivized guidance and support, which will highlight how ECEC organizations can evidence and improve provisions. With sustainability and long-term impact in mind, the partners will produce European Quality Framework profile and training resources for the development of a Diversity Ambassador role. The Interactive Scenario serious game will help ECEC practitioners remove negative attitudes, bias and prejudices among kids (formed from about the age of 3), fostering empathy, compassion and awareness in relation to equality and diversity.

The project will demonstrate the value for ECEC organizations in dedicating permanent time and resource to inclusivity issues, something which will also help the projects´other tools continue to be used after Diversity+ itself comes to an end. Throughout these activities the project will look to engage with ECEC leaders, educators and assistants, HR managers, equality and diversity leads etc. from across Europe. This will be complemented by the involvement of Diversity advocacy groups and policy makers. Therefore, the project will produce highly transferable resources and will help Diversity+ achieve a wide impact on governance structures found across ECEC institutions, helping these organizations to become more welcoming and inclusive for a range of Diversity identities. This will see an improvement in the number of children from these groups engaging with ECEC services, helping to address the current underrepresentation of minority groups. As a result, more people from within these groups will develop key social skills, empathy, compassion, mutual respect and awareness in relation to equality and rights, something which will ultimately improve social inclusion long-term across the countries involved.

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MediaParents – Competence Training for Media Education of Parents in Rural Areas

Media literacy is a central key competence in a society, where everyday life and the working world are significantly influenced by digitization. Thus, competencies in the digital world are becoming a central prerequisite for social participation and they are absolutely necessary for a successful educational and professional career.

The main goal of the project is to enable parents to deal with the topic and to provide them with sufficient information. One way to support parents in their media education tasks is to offer themed and institutionally detached parents´ evenings. In this way, media-pedagogical knowledge and practical handouts can be imparted in a way that is suitable for everyday use in home education and can be developed together in a common exchange. Especially in rural regions across Europe, there is a lack of trained media educators. Parents and adults from different professional backgrounds, such as educational specialists or lecturers, can be the right partners in the future.

The following activities will be implemented to achieve the project objective:

  • Development of an advanced training concept for the realization of topic-related and target group-oriented e-learning courses (adapted to different age groups of children) to qualify as MediaParent consultants in form of a curriculum to qualify as MediaParent consultants;
  • Development of an e-learning platform with target group-specific courses on various media education topics to qualify as a MediaParent consultant. Such a digital course offer, open to everyone, is not yet available, especially for this type of region. Due to international cooperation, this platform would gain an innovative character;
  • Establishment of a collection of practice-proven, topic-related, and target-group specific materials for preparation and follow-up as well as the implementation of media-pedagogical parents’ evenings. This collection of materials should relieve the “voluntary” consultants of time and work and so increase the willingness to hold a parents’ evening;
  • A suitable and to the regional conditions’ specific method for the evaluation of learning performance for future MediaParent consultants will be developed. The evaluation will be carried out through online-based test procedures. The participant will receive a certificate of participation as proof of acquired knowledge. As the competence assessment will be online-based, it is particularly suitable for rural areas;
  • Development of a database as a background for a dynamic map in the frontend, which serves to find MediaParent consultants in the surrounding area. In addition, registered MediaParent consultants can use the platform for exchange and networking amongst each other and across national borders.


Action for Roma Engagement, Entrepreneurship, Employment and Empowerement

The overall aim is to introduce and enhance an innovative model of learning based on exchanges between Program (Slovakia and Serbia) and Partner countries (Bosnia & Herzegovina and Albania), learning mobility and cooperation between youth organizations and non-formal education providers. This will be achieved through piloting a new toolkit for Media literacy and Critical thinking, piloting and upscaling the toolkit for the social and financial education of teenagers, and through sharing the experience in mobilizing and empowering youth to become peer educators, thus strengthening non-formal education in most disadvantaged communities of the project countries. The action is based on non-formal learning delivered by youth organizations offering young people education content supporting their active engagement, and equal opportunities in both the labour market and society. The most important distinctive feature of this program is the synergy of social and entrepreneurial competencies, applying innovative and active pedagogies, including open and digital learning tools.

The specific objectives are:

O1 – To design relevant innovative and flexible models of learning aimed at acquiring/improving the employability skills of young people.

O2 – To raise capacities of youth organizations and provide them with tools necessary for the delivery of a new form of training based on non-formal flexible learning methods, learning mobility, and virtual cooperation.

O3 – To launch, test, and implement new practical training schemes based on learning mobility aimed at improving participants´ level of competences and fostering their active participation in society.

O4 – To strengthen the influence of youth organizations in advocating for validation and recognition of competences acquired through non-formal learning.

These objectives will be reached combining capacity building, learning mobility, and advocacy actions, stimulating networking and exchange among its main target groups: youth organizations, education providers and local/national policy-makers.

 
 
 


TOY FOR INCLUSION – Accessibility

The goal of the project is to increase preparedness and access to regular education for young Romani children with and without disabilities in Dolany – Roskovce.

Specific objectives are:

SO1 – To organize inclusive non-formal education activities for young Romani children with and without disabilities to facilitate a smooth transition into primary education and improving their educational experience and performance in the long run.

SO2 – To educate Roma (future) parents on responsible parenting (including children with disabilities), so that they can better support their children at home and in school and education activities.

SO3 – To build the capacities of the education, health, and social services to be more inclusive towards children with disabilities and their families, and to be culturally sensitive towards  those from minority backgrounds.

Necessary activities to achieve these goals:

  • Desk research on most promising evidence-based approaches for inclusive education for children with special needs;
  • Development of the toolkit for practitioners on working with children with special needs and their parents;
  •  Building the capacity of the Local Action Team regarding work with „harder to reach“ children with disabilities and their parents (trainings, workshops, seminars);
  • Implementation of local non-formal community-based ECEC initiatives for parents (Parenting Support Program workshops, Health advice, Social advice, training, seminars with ECEC experts – teachers, medical doctors, dentists, psychologists, etc.) and for their children with special needs (activities to support their skills, knowledge, and preparation for entering (pre) primary education; Music therapy – connecting children with different abilities and cultural backgrounds through music and cultural activities);
  • Improving mutual tolerance through integrative activities;
  • Design of evaluation tools and dissemination.


 


REYN Slovakia – Network of Educators Working with Young Romani Children

Numerous studies around the world document that children from poor families often grow up in households that do not stimulate learning or language development, and they engage in fewer activities with adults than their peers from more wealthy families. The socio-economic status of the family significantly influences the cognitive, social, physical, and emotional development of the child’s personality. At the age of 3, it is possible to observe the differences between the personality development level of children from poor environments and their peers from less poor environments, and these developmental differences get more pronounced every year during childhood.

Therefore, in 2014, our organization decided to establish a network of educators working with young Romani children and their parents – an advocacy platform and a platform for the development of professional competencies. We strive to work together and become better at what we do to be able to offer high-level education, a multicultural approach to education in kindergartens and primary schools, community and health centers, and social services. At present, our network consists of more than 500 members, friends, and supporters, including teachers, social workers, health workers, community activists, parents, government officials, and local government members. REYN Slovakia was established following the international REYN network based in the city of Leiden in the Netherlands. A total of 11 national networks are currently active in Europe.

The main goal of the project is to strengthen the network of educators – REYN Slovakia to create an influential advocacy platform, actively influencing early childhood and parental policies, introducing positive change to the climate and the environment, in which the Romani children develop and learn at the local, regional and national levels.

Project activities:

  • Advocacy activities – research of the current situation in non-formal education of young Romani children and their parents, participation in advisory bodies and commissions of state institutions, development of model inclusive plans for educational institutions, organization of multiplication events (round tables, conferences);
  • Professional development of network members – organization of educational workshops and training in the field of inclusive education;
  • Organization of study trips abroad;
  • Regular communication with the network members to exchange experiences and present good practices through social networks.