High Level Policy Roundtable: Investing in Early Childhood Development
On 14 October, 2009, a high level policy roundtable “Investing in Early Childhood: The Most Effective Use of a Nation’s Resources” will be held in Bucharest at the Ramada Majestic Hotel. Representatives of high level decision-making bodies and civil society organizations of the following countries will participate in the event: Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Macedonia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, and Turkmenistan.The roundtable is co-hosted by the Romanian Ministry of Education, Research, and Innovation and the International Step by Step Association (ISSA) in partnership with UNICEF, Open Society Institute, the Consultative Group on Early Childhood Care and Development and Romanian Step by Step Centre for Education and Professional Development. The event is a curtain-raiser for ISSA’s 2009 10th Anniversary Conference.
Through presentations by senior experts in diverse fields associated with early childhood development (ECD), followed by discussion among delegates, the roundtable seeks to inform and support decision makers by examining the rationales for investing in quality ECD services for all young children. Participants will identify compelling examples of successful investments in integrated early childhood services and public/private partnerships that have helped countries expand and improve their services; as well as explore what made these investments in early childhood services more effective than others. They will also discuss possible funding mechanisms and how to mitigate negative effects of the current global financial downturn on children’s services. Finally, participants of the roundtable will formulate recommendations which may be used to advocate for increased investments in accessible, high quality, equitable early childhood care and education.
Guest speakers at the event will include: Prof. James J. Heckman, Nobel Laureate in Economics, University of Chicago, USA (via video); Prof. Stuart Shanker, Director of the Milton & Ethel Harris Research Initiative, York University, Canada; Prof. Nathan A. Fox, Professor of Human Development, University of Maryland, USA; Dr. John Bennett, Visiting Research Fellow, Thomas Coram Research Unit, Institute of Education; Former UNESCO and OECD early childhood policy analyst, France; and Mihai Tudor, General Manager, IBM Romania.
The following guests from the region will share their successful experiences implementing innovations in ECD: Monika Rościszewska-Woźniak, Vice President of the Board, Comenius Foundation for Child Development, Poland; Radmila Rangelov-Jusovic, Executive Director, Center for Educational Initiatives Step by Step, Bosnia and Herzegovina/ ISSA Board Member; Saltanat Builasheva, ECD Officer, UNICEF, Kyrgyzstan.
ISSA is a membership organization that connects professionals and organizations working in ECD. Established in the Netherlands in 1999, ISSA’s network today stretches across the globe. ISSA’s core members are non-governmental organizations, located in 28 countries of Central, Eastern and Southeast Europe and Central Asia. ISSA’s overarching goal is to promote inclusive, quality care and education experiences that create the conditions for all children to become active members of democratic knowledge societies. ISSA does this through: raising awareness of the importance of quality care and education, developing resources, disseminating information, advocating, strengthening alliances, and building capacity to create conditions where all children thrive.
The roundtable will take place on 14 October 2009 from 9:00 – 18:30 at the Hotel Ramada Majestic, Calea Victoriei 38-40, Bucharest, Romania. Media representatives are invited to attend roundtable and to contact the conference organizers for additional information. Opportunities for interviews with keynote speakers and representatives from ISSA will also be available. Further information about the organizers can be found on the conference website: www.issa2009.ro and at the ISSA website: www.issa.nl.
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