We promote child development across all domains!


Welcome to ISSA!

We commit ourselves to the development of children. Across all domains. Ever since ISSA was founded in 1999 we have grown significantly – providing knowledge and tools to improve the quality of Early Childhood Development. In pre-schools, day care centers and primary schools across Europe. From the secretariat in Leiden (The Netherlands), we gather and create prominent studies and insights on child care and share it with our peers, organization members and policy makers, so they can put them to good use.

ISSA came to existence due to the successful start-up and roll out of the Step by Step Program. This multi-disciplinary initiative required the formation of an expert group, a group that would function as overseer of international efforts to consistently grow the quality of Early Childhood Development across Europe. When the Step by Step Program progressed successfully, ISSA was founded in order to preserve and expand the network and knowledge that had done such excellent work.

We are also a membership association, and we serve as a learning community and a champion for the improvement quality and equity in systems of learning and growth, for all young children and their families. The ISSA network is a dynamic mix of experts from NGOs, schools and kindergartens, higher education and academic institutions in Europe and Central Asia. All ISSA members work and cooperate to ensure the best quality care and education for young children, especially the most vulnerable. 


Our vision:
A society where families, communities and professionals work together to empower each child to reach her or his unique potential and embrace values of social justice and equity. 

Our mission:
We are a learning community, powered by the leading early childhood experts in Europe and Central Asia. We unite professionals and partners to deliver high-quality early years services equitably. We challenge existing knowledge and practice and co-construct new approaches and models.

ISSA's work is underpinned by The Convention on the Rights of the Child. We are also a part of:
the EU Alliance for Investing in Children
the Global initiative to end all corporal punishment of children
Early Childhood Development Action Network ECDAN

ISSA's offices are located in a historic building that once functioned as an orphanage. Founded in 1593, it closed its doors as an orphanage during the 1960s. In May 2010 the renovated orphanage re-opened as Kinderrechtenhuis Nederland (Child Rights Home, the Netherlands). Besides ISSA, several other organisations working with and for children and young people have their offices in the building. These developments are made possible by financial and moral support from Stichting Utopa (the Utopa Foundation).



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