In March 2023, ICDI organized the third and final study visit within the Places to Grow Programme. Participants traveled to Ghent, in Belgium, and to Leiden, in the Netherlands, for a week of activities.
The main objective of the Places to Grow programme is to promote coordination among early childhood development (ECD) services for children from marginalised communities and ethnic minorities (e.g., Roma), build knowledge of policymakers and the workforce for future greater focus on early childhood services, and create evidence for reforms of financing of early childhood systems and follow-up advocacy at the national and European Union levels.
For one week, 25 ECD professionals, representatives of NGOs, and policymakers from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary visited ECD services in both Ghent and Leiden. These included childcare centres, family centres, toy libraries, and integrated community centres. Participants also learned from experts in the field of ECD during several lectures.
During the study visit, participants were inspired by the collaboration of ECD organizations in Belgium and the Netherlands. They shared their knowledge and expertise on ECD practices and policies while discussing ways to promote the integration of ECD services in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Participants also discussed strategies for reaching marginalized children and families, to make ECD more inclusive to everyone.
Here you can read the full report for the study visit.
We want to offer a special thank you to VBJK, to the City of Ghent, and to Het Gebouw, as well as to all the other individuals and organisations who contributed to the success of this study visit.
Want to read more about the previous study visits within the Places to Grow programme? Please find the previous reports here (Study Visit Report #1 to Slovakia) and here (Study Visit Report #2 to Hungary).