No Child Left Behind, Turkey

The Overall Objective was  to develop a strategy on early childhood education (ECEC) in Turkey, with a special focus on contribution to social and economic cohesion of most vulnerable and marginalized groups, especially disadvantaged children and their families in rural and poor urban areas.

In this project the Dutch and Turkish partners tried out several new forms of Early Childhood Education and Care services in Turkey, to help increase the enrolment of young children into these provisions and in general to improve the quality of early childhood education in the country.


In this project ICDI and Dutch partner Sardes worked closely with the Turkish Ministry of Education to stimulate the development of new Early Childhood Education and Care services in the country (where still many children under 5 do not have access to such services.

ICDI was involved in technical support and advice of new ECEC initiatives in the city of Mersin, southeast Turkey. Here two innovative project took place:

  • A Toy Library was set up in a kindergarten, to provide children from poor families with much needed and much appreciated toys, to stimulate playful interaction between parents and their young children.
  • Summer school. This was a very succesful pilot, whereby teachers during the summer holidays provied young children from poor and mostly Kurdish immigrant families with preparatory education for the primary, so they would not start school with a delay in -especially- language.

The project was very succesful and the best practices developed have spread to other regions of Turkey.

Facts and figures


Sardes, Utrecht Turkish Ministry of Education


Ministry of Foreign Affairs, via the MATRA programme

Project Manager

Iordan Iossifov