The OvidiuRo Association announces the start of the “Fiecare Copil in Gradinita Summer Caravan”, a project aiming to inform the parents about the Law No.248/2015 and the recruitment of the eligible children for kindergarten. Law No. 248/2015 encourages poor parents to bring their kids to kindergarten, offering them a social voucher for kindergarten (TSG) in value of RON 50 per month, provided that the children have a daily presence.
Today, the Caravan arrives in Vaslui and Brasov – two of the 12 counties selected by OvidiuRo based on the poverty level and on the large number of children at risk – and takes place in cooperation with the county authorities (the Prefecture, the County Council, ISJ, DGASPC, ANPIS, DSP), as well as with the local ones.
After 4 months of implementing the law, around 65,000 children coming from disadvantaged families have been registered in the program, out of which 58 percent had a daily presence and benefited from the social voucher for kindergarten for February – June period. The first consequence of the law reported by the local authorities is the increase of the frequency for all the children in kindergartens, not only for those being eligible to receive the vouchers.
The main objective of the caravan is to support local teams – social assistants, teachers, school mediators – in implementing the Law No. 248/2015, first of all in order to identify the children aged 3 to 6 who aren’t subscribed yet to the kindergarten, in informing the parents about the program and to register them on time for the school year 2016-2017. Caravan’s activities will include reading sessions with children, educational games and discussions for counseling parents on the importance of the early education. With the support of the Carrefour Foundation, we will be able to offer an illustrated book called “La gradinita” (“At the kindergarten”) to each preschool child.
Leslie Hawke, OvidiuRo Co-founder, explained that “one of the role we have assumed is the promotion of an important habit in children’s development, meaning both the parents and the teachers of the preschool children have to read them books. But since many parents have difficulties in reading in the poor communities, we bring carefully selected books containing stories easy to be narrated through images and illustrations which families can easily recognize and understand. We wish all the new communities to take the advantage on the best practices that made the FCG pilot program to have such an important success”.
By the end of this summer, OvidiuRo will select communities to be further supported, with traditional complementary solutions within the FCG pilot program, that will be added to the social vouchers covered starting on February 15 from the state budget, depending on the specific needs. They will include school supplies, clothes and shoes, the hygienic and health education component, the teachers training and the programs for informing parents and making them involve.
The “Fiecare Copil in Gradinita Caravan” is possible thanks to the Carrefour Romania Foundation, a major investor in the FCG pilot program in 2013. For the school year 2016-2017, the Carrefour Foundation has decided to support the early education in the poor communities through a project for encouraging parents and teachers to read to the children.
About OvidiuRo (OvR)
OvidiuRo’s mission is to make every child to benefit from preschool education and thus to become an active member of the society. After several years of testing projects and actions of fighting against poverty through education, OvidiuRo has decided to accomplish its mission by focusing on a single program, Fiecare Copil in Gradinita (FCG), launched in 2010 in partnership with the Education Ministry.
FCG stimulates parents to daily bring their preschool kids to the kindergarten, thus helping to prevent the dropout. By the FCG pilot program, families receive social vouchers in value of RON 50 per month, representing a substantial increase of the amount allocated for food. Teachers note the presence daily, and in the communities that are FCG pilot partners, OvidiuRo makes unannounced visits to monitor the correct noticing of the presence.
Since its launching as a pilot program in 2010, until February 2016, more than 4,500 children from 43 small rural and urban communities have benefited from early education and better nutrition. FCG pilot program was quoted both by The Economist and by World Bank as a good practice and was financed mainly by the corporate sector in Romania and by The Alex Fund.
At OvidiuRo’s initiative, starting from 2016, the component of the social vouchers for kindergarten for a number of 111,000 children aged 3 to 6 estimated by the Labor Ministry, is financed from the state budget by the Law No.248/2015, also called the “Fiecare Copil la Gradinita” Law, regulating this program of a national interest.