Early Childhood Care and Development for Roma Children in Albania

Thursday 13 October 2016

Children in Albania continue to encounter challenges & barriers with regards to their right to education, due to socio-economic inequalities, existing disparities and social norms around education. Disadvantaged groups, such as Roma, children with disabilities and children living in the families in extreme poverty have lower access and even no access to education and the quality of education remains variable. The level of enrolment in preschools is low. In 2012, gross pre-primary enrolment for children 3-6 age was 69%. The young children who are not enrolled in kindergartens are predominantly young Roma children. According to INSTAT (2014) gross enrolment rate in 2014 continued to increase and reached 81% but this figure needs to be read cautiously as regarding children from disadvantaged groups, i.e. Roma children, only 42 % of Roma children attend preschool education (3-6) . According to UNDP “A Needs Assessment Study of Roma & Egyptian Communities in Albania” 2012, only 37% of Roma children and 44% of Egyptian children 3-6 age go to kindergarten. A part of vulnerable groups, among them many Roma are completely out of the systems in terms of accessing public services & specifically nursery or preschool education sites.

To respond to this critical situation and contribute in improving services to early care and development for Roma children 0-6 years, a new intervention of Save the Children has started to be implemented during the period October 2016-September 2019. Early Childhood Care and Development for Roma Children in Albania is the newest project in the field of Education that is financed by Roma Education Fund and Medicor Foundation during the period October 2016-september 2019. Through this project we aim to achieve equitable access for 506 Roma children and 127 disadvantaged non-Roma children between the age of 0-6 to inclusive and integrated ECCD services & quality education by the end of 2018. Thereby, the project supports the development and early learning outcomes of marginalized children and will facilitate their successful transition into primary school.

Three main components of the project will be: Providing development opportunities for Roma children 0-Improving quality of Early Childhood Care and Development services. Improving the Parenting Skills and Practices of Roma Parents. The project will be implemented by two Roma community based NGOs in two regions such as Elbasan and Fier.