Case study Romania 2020

A Good Start in Life - Ending the era of a split early childhood education system

Supported by UNICEF and the Open Society Foundation, “A Good Start in Life” (AGSIL) was designed by Centrul pentru Educație și Dezvoltare Profesională (CEPD) Step by Step Romania and the Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sport (MERYS). It aimed to provide support for communities affected by the financial crisis and to challenge the split early childhood education system in Romania. AGSIL provided evidence on Early Childhood Development to support the 2011 law which for the first time applied early childhood education and care (ECEC) services to children from birth to 6, ending a split in the system between the 0-3 and 3-6 age groups. Overall, AGSIL:

1. Helped to create community-based models by training professional staff and involving parents in their children’s education;
2. Established inter-sectoral partnerships at the county and national level;
3. Provided high quality learning experiences for children under 4 years old in disadvantaged urban communities.

Capitalising on the experience gained from the ECD Multifunctional Centre project, AGSIL set out to provide high quality ECEC services to families with children aged 2-4 and supported children’s enrolment in public kindergartens in Romania. The programme was implemented in 87 kindergartens located in 36 (out of 41) counties and provided relevant training to 4,000 parents, 200 teachers, 87 principals and 26 school inspectors. Priority for enrolment in the programme was given to children from vulnerable communities, including from the Roma population.

This material is part of a compilation of various case studies from across Europe that show different facets of early childhood development, and the types of policies and interventions that we are promoting through the ‘First Years, First Priority’ campaign. Published in December 2020.

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