World Teachers' Day is held annually on 5 October

The EU Child Guarantee aims to guarantee every child and every parent access to pre-school and education, no matter who they are or where they live

UNICEF
djeca i roditelji na radionici
DSoldo/UNICEF
04 October 2021

World Teachers' Day is held annually on 5 October to celebrate all teachers around the globe. It is an opportunity to recall the important role of teachers and other professionals in the education system in the growth and development of every child and the right of every girl and every boy to education, regardless of who they are and where they live, in formal and informal way.

 

Growing Up Together Count Us In Plus is a series of workshops, intended to support parenting and it's wonderful to see the participants who are highly motivated. They are all connected by a common desire to further develop their parenting skills and be strengthened in the parenting role. The workshops are a network of spreading knowledge and positive experiences, both from experts to activists and beneficiaries, and to their family members. Although primarily a support program for parents and children living in precarious  circumstances, it also has a positive impact on educational goals. 

Coordinators consider the workshops extremely important for the growth and development of children living in the Roma settlement of Orehovica, as they see a great progress in the use of the Croatian language among children. They haven’t had the opportunity to learn and practice it before.

Workshops are a good preparation for school because children who attend them will have some prior knowledge and skills needed to start preschool.

“Both my son Jakov (4) and I have changed positively thanks to everything we learned at the series of workshops Growing Up Together Count Us In Plus. Jakov used to be frisky, but now he listens to me, and it makes me very happy to see him write and draw all by himself. I hope that he will finish primary and secondary school, that he will get a job choose his own path, but that it will be good, that he will have a lot of ups and no downs.“

Jelena Bogdan (25), mother of three children and Growing Up Together Count Us In Plus participant
majka sa sinovima
DSoldo/UNICEF
odgojiteljica i dijete
DSoldo/UNICEF

"I am a Growing up Together (RAZA) activist (Roma cultural mediator) and my role is to be of support and help to parents in the workshops Growing Up Together Count Us In Plus. But I learned a lot from and by everything we taught parents. I applied a lot of what I learned about raising children to my family, and have enriched the relationship with my family, especially my children. I didn't even hope that the workshops would have such a positive effect and impact on the parents. It makes me happy that they are applying most of what they learned in heir household and say they see great progress compared to the period before."

Natalija Sklepić (36), RAZA activist and teacher

“Krenimo zajedno” ECEC Play Hub and Toy Library in Orehovica has become an important meeting place for all children and their families, particularly those living in disadvantaged conditions. It is an example of informal education, as here, on their own or with their family members, children can spend quality time here, socialise with other children, develop their skills or borrow didactic toys to play with them at home. The informal setting of the Centre also allows parents to “open up” more easily and discuss problems and challenges that they are facing. The coordinators and associates then work on trying to find experts, who can organise workshops on these topics, and on including and supporting other parents. Activities in the Hub are created and implemented on  ‘TOY for inclusion’  principles.

“When preparing and considering each activity I pay special attention to ensuring that no child, regardless of the conditions they live in, feels excluded or unable do something or participate in something. This is why I try to think of activities that parents can do with their children at home and to include the whole family. I always make sure to use materials that are accessible to everyone, such as pen and paper. The importance of the Play Hub for the community and its acceptance among parents is perhaps exemplified the best by a dad who, several times upon coming home from work, hurried to make pancakes so that he could bring them to the Play Hub for everyone. I am happy that the programme “Phase III: Testing the Child Guarantee in Croatia” will enable the ECEC Play Hub and Toy Library to further strengthen its important role in providing support and serving as a meeting place for children and families in Orehovica.”

Monika Horvat, Centre coordinator and pre-school educator
odgojiteljice
DSoldo/UNICEF

"When one finds themselves in a situation where one meets a child with some kind of disability for the first time, one has a lot of questions. But then you start researching, searching, reading, contacting experts, talking to parents, and you are constantly learning. Mateo taught us empathy.”

Ivančica Treska, educator in Čakovec kindergarten
učiteljica
DSoldo/UNICEF

The pilot program „Phase III: Testing the Child Guarantee,” funded by the European Union, is implemented in 7 EU countries, with the aim of ensuring that all children have access to basic services, such as healthcare, education, nutritious food, quality housing and childcare.

In Croatia, this pilot program is aimed primarily at children with disabilities, children in precarious family situations, and children of racial or national minorities. It is implemented in seven municipalities of Medjimurje County, and through the cooperation and knowledge of implementing partners, interventions are carried out in three areas: integrated child protection and family support services, early childhood intervention services, and access to quality pre-primary education.

© UNICEF, 2021 “The information and views set out in this document are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Neither the European Union institutions and bodies nor any person acting on their behalf may be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.