The project is based on various research supported results and the results of direct findings from the field of the applicant organization, that quality early childhood education and the inclusion of children from disadvantaged groups in high-quality preschool programs is one of the key protective factors that predict success of children in further education as well as later. In the case of Romani children we must focus our great effort on work with Romani parents, because of their various negative experiences from the past, they in majority do not trust institutions, and often do not feel the need to send children in preschool programs, because of high unemployment rate they usually stay at home and also on their scale of values for various reasons, (pre-school) education is not listed high.

On the other hand there are preschool teachers who are professionally committed to the integration of all children in the educational process. Because of specific of target population and the complexity of the Roma issue, teachers must be equipped with special tools and strategies that enable them to successfully integrate Romani children in their classrooms. Preschool teachers are largely aware of the problems and their helplessness and that is the reason why the preschools to which gravitate Roma settlements or which include Romani children, in recent years are implementing the number of projects that address the integration of Romani children in pre-school educational system from different angles. But the problem lies in the fact that there does not exist a comprehensive model that would help preschool teachers work with and include Romani children and their parents in early childhood programs.

The aim of project is exactly this: on the basis of past experiences of partner organizations, to develop a comprehensive model that includes both work with children, parents and the local community and help raise awareness among educators of their implicit theories, which are often an obstacle to the successful implementation of innovations.

The target groups in our project are administrators and professionals in preschools (preschool teachers, counselors etc.), Romani parents and children, representatives of the Romani community, representatives of local organizations and other members of the local community. With direct project activities we will reach 350 people. In the project, besides the applicant organization, there are involved three partner organizations, which have been selected on the basis of similar problems faced in their countries and their rich past experience in this area. Those experiences are different one from each other, so that the consortium represents an optimal set of complementary partner organizations.

Activities in the project will be based on the implementation of four different courses, which will cover four key pillars necessary for the successful integration of Romani children in preschools and the development of linguistic, cultural and developmentally appropriate multilingual materials for children. Trainings will be primarily carried out on an international level, and later they will be implemented by partner organizations at the national level for preschools and other key persons directly involved in the implementation of the project. At the national level partner organizations will monitor progress of project implementation through regular monthly monitoring.

For the implementation of the project on the consortium level, the coordinator of the project will be in charged. For this purpose there will be organized kick off meeting and during the implementations of international trainings, there will be part of the time devoted to discussing the current project issues. Otherwise, for the purpose of the smooth implementation of the project, the communication in the consortium will take place on regular basis through various communication channels. For the dissemination of the results and project’s findings four roundtables at the national level in the partner countries will be organized, at the international level there will be organized annual conference and also scientific monography will be published.

As all partner organizations are members of two international Network (ISSA and REYN), which include more than 60 different countries in Europe and beyond and between which there is an ongoing, continuous exchange of information and cooperation, project results will be immediately disseminated to a variety of levels of educational system (local and national policy makers) in the member states of the two networks and also different users (non-governmental organizations, preschools, primary schools, individuals, etc.).

The project will create guidelines for policy makers at the national and European level, which will open up possibilities for dialogue and systematically address the issue of integration of Romani children in preschool education.

The project is based on various research supported results and the results of direct findings from the field of the applicant organization, that quality early childhood education and the inclusion of children from disadvantaged groups in high-quality preschool programs is one of the key protective factors that predict success of children in further education as well as later. In the case of Romani children we must focus our great effort on work with Romani parents, because of their various negative experiences from the past, they in majority do not trust institutions, and often do not feel the need to send children in preschool programs, because of high unemployment rate they usually stay at home and also on their scale of values for various reasons, (pre-school) education is not listed high.

Leading organisation

Developmental Research Center for Pedagogical Initiatives Step by Step at the Educational research Institute, Slovenia

Partners

Center for Education Initiatives, Latvia

Škola dokorán n.o., Slovakia

Člověk v tísni, Czech Republic