2nd place of the 5th Dosta! Congress Prize - City of Kragjevac (Serbia)
Parenting classes for social inclusion
The period before 3 years of age is critical for the development of the personality of a person and has a large influence on their health and social abilities later on in life. While the access to education for Roma children is improving due an extended preschool programme, children younger than 3 are taken care of continuously by institutions.
In order to provide also marginalised families with the necessary support for children, the project of Kragujevac started a parenting programme to educate parents about the importance of early childhood and the role of learning and development by playing and reading, using materials such as children’s books, colouring books, songs and poems, storytelling and toys. Courses were offered to parents to reflect on their role as the central figures in the lives the child and their shared responsibility for the well-being of the child.
In order to mainstream the programme and make sure that parents and children find support at institutions involved in city life, stakeholders in the local community, such as local civil servants and civil society organisations were involved in the project too. They also received training and materials in order to pay attention to the importance of early childhood education in their administration, which is important especially in the case of health, education and social welfare authorities.
Finally, in order to widen the reach of the programme, the city promotes the programme using media such as TV, radio and internet.