During 2015, ISSA undertook a period of strategic planning; a look ahead to the future and how to become a broader network functioning in more countries to deliver high quality early childhood services.
Since January this 2016, ISSA has worked with the Membership Committee, members and friends researching organizations whose principles and programs fit with ISSA’s values. This has resulted in the association welcoming 14 new members in 2016, taking us to a total of 71 by the end of the year.
In 1997 For Our Children, was the first Bulgarian non-governmental organization to introduce foster care, and today their mission is ensure that no Bulgarian child spends their early years of life in the isolation of an institution but lives safely with a loving family.
From Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovinina, ISSA welcomes the Society of Civic Initiatives whose training programs focus on inclusive education for parents, teachers and community representatives.
The Trust for Social Achievement, also from Bulgaria, promotes and supports initiatives to help increase the self-sufficiency of families in need. They featured in ISSA’s November newsletter, you can read more here.
Ten years ago in the Tajik city of Dushanbe, parents of children with Cerebral Palsy met to discuss the difficulties and barriers their children faced being fully integrated into society. In 2011, this group formed themselves into an organization Rushdi Inclusia, dedicated to raising awareness of inclusion. Now, they provide information on the social model of disability among parents and professionals, and share the practical skills needed for working in mainstream classrooms with children with disabilities.
Educational and Social Center SOS Kindergarten, Kosovo started work in 2002 to provide daily care of children aged 3 – 6 years old. They now also offer preschool education services for children aged 5 – 6 years old, promote and implement inclusive and social education, awareness training, and support for parents and the community in inclusive education and social justice.
Child at Street 11 from Singapore is a childcare organization for children from disadvantaged or abusive backgrounds, providing high-quality early years education for children from 18 months to 6 years old.
From the Netherlands, ISSA welcomed the Netherlands Youth Institute (NYI): the national institute for compiling, verifying and disseminating knowledge on children and youth matters, such as child abuse, youth work, youth care and parenting support in the Netherlands.
Also from the Netherlands, Stichting BKK joined ISSA in 2016. An independent quality childcare bureau, whose main objective is the improvement of quality in child care. They are contributers to the Quality Agenda Child of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment.
ISSA’s 2017 Conference will be co-hosted by the city of Ghent, an exemplar in the field of ECD. DIKO-Dienst Kinderopvang Stad Gent, covers the city’s 25 districts delivering flexible and inclusive childcare services.
Also from Ghent in Belgium, we welcome the center De Sloep, dedicated to supporting educational opportunities for families with children at risk from 0 to 6 years.
The Neohumanist Education Association from Romania, is focused on bringing progressive change to the Romanian educational system through training, running model educational programs, and offering quality assurance to programs applying the Neohumanist approach.
From Russia, the Research and Education Center “Biological and Social Foundations of Inclusion is established within the structure of the Pavlov Institute of Physiology Russian Academy of Sciences. Focused on improving the scientific, educational and practical collaboration between academic researchers, educational, medical and social institutions, they are involved in providing assistance for children and adults with special needs.
ISSA also has two new members from Serbia:
Romanipen works towards advancing the quality of life of Roma people by developing services for raising effectiveness and professionalism within organizations. Part of their mission is to contribute to improving the education of Roma young people with a view to their emancipation and integration into the modern life.
Association of Pedagogical Assistant of Serbia, is a professional organization of over 160 members from all across Serbia. They deliver continuous training and the professional development of members, while advocating for changes in local education policy.
Membership of ISSA is open to non-profit organizations, academic and educational entities, foundations and associations with an interest in early childhood development. Members benefit from a variety of opportunities including: capacity building, shared learning and joint fundraising. Read more here if you would like to Join ISSA.