Kindergarten is for all Children - Quality Preschool Education in Local Community

February 24, 2020

The first in a series of consultative meetings with representatives of the Local self-government working groups dealing with improvement and development of preschool education in local self-governments involved in the SUPER project was held on February 24, 2020 at the EUIC premises in Belgrade.

The representatives of 24 local self-governments and managers of preschool institutions from Alibunar, Bela Crkva, Opovo, Plandište, Bač, Zabalj, Srbobran, Titel, Čoka, Mali Iđoš, Žitište, Sečanj, Irig, Bajina Basta, Priboj, Ljig, Osecina, Loznica, Koceljeva, Ljubovija , Mali Zvornik, Lučani, Knić, Petrovac na Mlavi, addressed by Maja Knezevic Romcevic, Head of the Department of Education, Culture, Sports and Youth at the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities (SCTM).

She emphasized the importance of strategic plans drawn up in local self-governments to further improve preschool education. With the support of the project, in all 50 local self-governments involved in the SUPER project, strategic plans for the preschool education are under development, which will be publicly discussed after consultation with all stakeholders in the local community.

Previous work on the development of these plans, the challenges faced by the representatives of the working groups was analyzed at the meeting and key recommendations for further work on their preparation were presented. The importance of harmonization of development plans and the Act on the Network of Public Preschool Institutions was emphasized.

The attendees emphasized that during process of drafting great challenge were collect number of children to be included in preschool education but with joint work of all members of the working groups in almost 30 local self-governments, the first drafts were successfully prepared.

Strategic plans for the development of preschool education are developed locally to further enhance and develop preschool education with an inclusive approach, parental involvement and wider availability of quality preschool education.

Lidija Miškeljin, the SUPER Project Team leader recalled the importance of the Law on the Public Penitentiary Network Act and emphasized that this document promotes equal rights and accessibility of all forms of preschool education, that the goal is that 70% of children be covered by preschool education by 2025 in accordance with the National Millennium Development Goals of Serbia, families needs for programs, as well as the specificity of local traditions and areas where they live.

She also stressed need for introduction of different and diverse programs, the maximum involvement of children and families in processes of planning of development and diversification of systems, as well as a multisectoral and interdisciplinary approach in creation and implementation of new programs in preschool education.

These meetings provided support to local self-government teams for planning and managing preschool education. "We have received a lot of help and support from the SUPER project. We didn't even know each other, and now we become as a real team that works successfully. Preschool education has received valuable attention like never before and we should all take advantage of it”, said one of the participants.

The next meeting, attended by other 26 local self-governments from the SUPER project, Trstenik, Rekovac, Ćicevac, Golubac, Žabari, Žagubica, Velika Plana, Kučevo, Malo Crniće, Boljevac, Knjaževac, Crna Trava, Gadžin Han, Ražanj, Svrljig, Babušnica, Bela Palanka , Dimitrovgrad, Medveđa, Brus, Blace, Kuršumlija, Bosilegrad, Trgovište, Batočina and Raška, will be held on February 28, 2020 in Niš.