Today, ICDI’s Team Leader Early Years Margaret Kernan (PhD) is keynote speaker at the Toy Libraries Conference – “Reducing the gap in early childhood education of Roma: Opportunities and obstacles for inclusion”. Margarets keynote is titled: Ensuring Quality in Toy Libraries. In her presentation she argues that a good quality toy library is a place where all parents and children feel welcome, a place where families can borrow toys and books and a place where parents can learn more about play. She also presents a tool to measure the quality of toy libraries.
The conference is organized by Roma Education Fund. The Roma Education Fund (REF) was created in the framework of the Decade of Roma Inclusion in 2005. Its mission and ultimate goal is to close the gap in educational outcomes between Roma and non-Roma. In order to achieve this goal, REF supports policies and programs which ensure quality education for Roma, including the desegregation of education systems. REF provides grants for educational projects spanning early childhood development to secondary school, supports university scholarships, provides policy advocacy and research, and also implements large-scale EU-funded projects for Roma inclusion. REF’s programs reach over 100,000 Romani beneficiaries in 16 countries per year.