The Programme was originally launched by a tripartite partnership between UNICEF, the Ministry of Education, and MATRA (a financing programme of the Dutch Ministry of External Affairs), with the following implementing agencies: Fundatia Copiii Nostri and the Netherlands Institute of Care and Welfare (NIZW). The training curriculum and methodology for both the trainers of trainers and parents were developed by NIZW in partnership with Fundatia Copiii Nostri.
The programme used the “cascade” approach: a group of 12 master trainers were trained in each of the 41 Romanian counties and Bucharest, coordinated by the County Pre-school Inspector (within the County School Inspectorate). These master trainers were in charge of training pre-school teachers as trainers of parents. Once the kindergarten teachers completed all the training of trainer stages (including a parent training simulation session) they were able to begin training the parents. Every year, increasingly more county kindergartens and primary schools were involved in the project. The selection of the kindergartens was coordinated by the County School Inspector.
UNICEF supported the training programme for the master trainers in four counties per year, supervising the training programme for kindergarten teachers, and monitoring the overall processes for the Ministry of Education. Due to successful local fundraising in 2006, Petrom, Romania’s largest company and a member of the Austrian OMV Group, earmarked EUR 150,000 for Early Childhood Development, with special emphasis on the National Parenting Education Programme in Pre-school Education). The last 15 Romanian counties and five Bucharest sectors were included in the Parent Education Programme through a twinning tutorial method, by which master trainers trained new groups of master trainers, a programme designed and supervised by Fundatia Copiii Nostri. UNICEF continued to support the overall monitoring processes of the entire programme, in close partnership with the Ministry of Education and Fundatia Copiii Nostri.
The National Parenting Education Programme in Pre-school Education continued in 2006, reaching national coverage. Emphasis was placed on expanding the number of kindergartens involved in the project, especially in rural areas and disadvantaged communities. Monitoring statistics show that more than 70,000 parents were trained in some 4,000 kindergartens and 370 schools. The programme has been included in the National Strategy on Early Education.