Places to Grow in Slovakia and 1st study visit to Play Hubs

Last September 2022, ICDI and our local partner Škola dokorán organised the first study visit within the Places to Grow Programme in Slovakia. Catarina Alves represented ICDI during this visit.

Places to Grow aims to promote coordination among Early Childhood Development (ECD) services for children from marginalised communities and ethnic minorities (e.g., Roma), to build knowledge of policy makers and the workforce for future greater focus on early childhood services, and to create evidence for reforms of financing of early childhood systems and follow-up advocacy at national and the European Union level.

For the duration of two days, 25 early childhood professionals, representatives of NGOs and policy makers from both Slovakia and Czech Republic visited three Play Hubs (non-formal community-based child and family centres) and two primary schools, in Spišský Hrhov, Poprad, and Prešov. In addition, ICDI also facilitated a half-day training on Reflective Practices in Early Childhood Settings and introduced participants to the ECD QUAT, a tool developed by ICDI that can be used to assess and improve quality through a participatory approach. 

During the study visit participants used the opportunity to share and reflect on their findings and observations. More specifically, interacting with the staff of the Play Hubs and seeing how much knowledge and expertise is present, as well as gaining a clear understanding of how Play Hubs function in practice, and, finally, observing how the local needs and context lead to different solutions in each Play Hub was an inspirational experience for them. 

Here you can read the full report for this study visit.