Learning visit on prevention and early intervention for disadvantaged children

One in four children under the age of six in Europe is at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Prevention and early intervention practices and approaches have been proven to be effective in addressing these challenges, particularly when they happen in the first 3 years of life.

That’s why ICDI participates in the PINN project, which aims to share best practice in the areas of prevention and early intervention in disadvantaged populations and the importance of early childhood care and education as a preventative tool.  

Partner organisations from Ireland, Norway, Portugal, along with ICDI are joining forces to facilitate this learning exchange. ICDI has invited Leiden based child-focussed NGO, JES Rijnland to also be involved.

Last week Margaret Kernan represented ICDI in the first Learning Exchange Visit of the PINN Project, which was hosted by the Regional Centre for Child and Youth Mental Health and Child Welfare (RKBU) at UiT, the Arctic University of Norway in Tromsø, Norway.

The 12 participants from Ireland, Norway, the Netherlands and Portugal experienced a 3-day programme of discussion, debate, research presentations, visits to local education and family support settings and sharing of practice experiences.

Everyone appreciated the diversity of presentations and the attention to linking research findings to practice and professional development.

The visit to the Stakkevollan Family House was one of the main highlights. There, the participants met two expert practitioners who passionately described the range of activities and services they provide for free, to support all parents in the neighbourhood. Everyone was struck by the calm, welcoming atmosphere of the Family House and attention paid to including specialist support professionals who were regularly available to all families attending.

Throughout the days spent in Tromsø, everyone was also struck by the value given to nature and culture in children’s lives in the Norway. They heard about families with young children meeting together to enjoy cooking around a fire in the snow in early Spring, and they spotted lots of young children enjoying climbing, building, digging outdoors wherever they went.

This was the first of 4 learning exchange visits, which should contribute to long-term and sustained positive impact on the wider fields of prevention and early intervention in partner countries.