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110 Early Intervention Specialists Graduate in Kharkiv

Kharkiv, 2 June 2017 – After 9 months of intensive training, Ukraine’s first early intervention specialists graduated in Kharkiv. The 110 are the first group of graduates supported by UNICEF that seeks to contribute to the development of Ukraine’s early intervention system.

Early intervention is an interdisciplinary, family-centred service for families with children under 4 years old that might have, or are at risk of development delays or disability. The system supports the whole family, providing necessary skills and ensuring the best conditions for the child’s health, development and education. It also helps to prevent progression of disorders and institutionalization of children.

“Thanks to early interventions, children and parents receive knowledge and skills that allow them to effectively integrate into the society. Early Intervention is important as it builds partnership among parents, children and specialists to meet the medical, social, psychological, developmental needs of the child,” underlined Gabrielle Akimova, UNICEF Ukraine Child Protection Specialist.

These specialists are working to render early intervention support to children with or at risk of disability in 20 cities and villages in eastern Ukraine. A cycle of five, five-day sessions was delivered over the nine month period by Ukraine’s early intervention “pioneers,” specifically specialists from the Kharkiv Charitable Foundation “Early Intervention Institute” and Lviv Centre of Education and Rehabilitation “Dzerelo.”

Acknowledging the importance of early intervention, Viktoria Pirogova, a parent from Kharkiv said early intervention services unites the whole family in difficult moments where each family member requires professional support. “It also enables a child to fully realise his/her potential. This option is only possible within the family, as the family is the main resource for early childhood development.”

Global research reveals that $1 spent on early childhood development saves up to $17 otherwise spent on medical treatment, special education programmes and additional services. Under this programme, UNICEF will provide the necessary supplies and equipment for the provision of early intervention services in the participating teams from eastern Ukraine.

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. 
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit 
Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook

For more information or for interviews please contact:
Olga Samoilova, UNICEF Ukraine, +380 50 445 0331, 
Nazgul Cholponbaeva, UNICEF Ukraine, +38 050 300 5359,



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