According to the estimates of Up Romania company (the new identity of Cheque Dejeuner Romania), the market value of the social vouchers for kindergarten, after the first year of start of the governmental program “Fiecare Copil in Gradinita (Every Child in Kindergarten)”, is approaching 60% of the potential assessed by the Romanian Government in early 2016.
The State Budget Law no. 339/2015 has foreseen a budget of 55.5 million lei.
Up Romania has signed contracts with more than 900 municipalities in the Romanian economy and the implementation of the program in rural areas is about 80%.
” Nearly a year after the introduction of the social coupons for kindergarten, we find the opening of all the involved actors for this program to grow, so that more and more children from disadvantaged families will benefit from early education, the basis for a good start in life. We believe that the degree of implementation in the coming years will reach the optimum level, especially if will be applied in the same rhythm, taking into account all the legislative adjustments occurred”, said Elena Pap, general director Up Romania.
From the discussions with the local authorities, it has substantially increased the frequency of the children who were already enrolled in kindergarten. Regarding the children who previously attended the preschool education courses, they entered the program in a relatively small extent. Thus, for a greater success of the program, solutions must be found to better enable the social workers, who play a key role in informing and in the inclusion of the children from disadvantaged backgrounds, who can benefit from social vouchers for kindergarten. On the other hand, it has been also reported the category of children whose parents work abroad. The persons who they were left with, for example the grandparents, have no procure to enrol them in the program, although in legal terms, they are allowed to.
“The success of the program is strengthened by the requests of the administrative units seeking the extension in grades 1-4 and even 1-8 ”, said Elena Pap.
Throughout this year, the program has been adapted to meet the specific needs for the people in difficulty. The legislation has initially targeted the children aged between 3 and 6 years. Subsequently, this interval was extended so as the two-year old children enrolled in kindergarten, respectively those who have reached six years during the school year, could benefit from this type of social coupons.
In addition, the vouchers can be received for the holidays, for the days off granted by the law and for the “Other Week,” not only in the months of courses. Another important adjustment is that the registration documentation can be submitted during the school year, not just at the beginning.
According to the Law no. 248/2015 and the related norms, the preschool children from the disadvantaged families may benefit from an incentive in the form of social coupons for kindergarten with the value of 50 lei per month.
The condition for receiving this benefit is the proof that they are attending the kindergarten, the frequency, and that the monthly income per family member does not exceed 284 lei (twice the guaranteed minimum income level for a single person, provided by Law no. 416 / 2001 on minimum wage, as amended and supplemented). These vouchers can be used to purchase food, clothing, shoes, hygiene products, school items.
Romania has partnered up nationwide with stores in all the areas required by the relevant legislation. From the data held by the issuing company, almost 90% of the social kindergarten vouchers are used to purchase food in particular.
The social vouchers for kindergarten can be personalized according to the option of the contracting authority, with the responsible institutions logo and including messages specially designed for the beneficiaries.
Also, Up Romania comes in supporting the institutions providing consulting for a simplified implementation and informing the people involved about any legislative change occurred.
The social ticket for kindergarten comes as a continuation of the company’s strategy to develop social products that help increase the purchasing power and the quality of life for the disadvantaged people.
“Fiecare Copil in Gradinita” program awarded at European level
The advocacy campaign conducted in partnership with OvidiuRo has brought the McGuireWoods team the prize for the best campaign of Public Affairs in Europe at the European Excellence Awards, edition 2016. This has contributed to the adoption of the bill that takes, nationally, the mechanism of “Fiecare Copil in Gradinita” program.
The OvidiuRo Association received the pro bono support from McGuireWoods, and the project initiated by it has obtained an almost unanimous support from the Romanian Parliament.
The law takes over the solution implemented in the “Fiecare Copil in Gradinita” program and establishes the educational incentive, in the form of social coupons for kindergarten.
Through the funding from the state budget starting with February 15, 2016, the preschool children from disadvantaged families receive monthly food coupons worth 50 lei if they have regular attendance in kindergarten. According to some initial assessments by the Ministry of Labor, Family, and Social Protection and Elderly People, 111,000 children are eligible for these social coupons.
The European Excellence Awards Gala is one of the most important events dedicated to the communications industry in Europe, with over 63 award categories, offering European recognition to the campaigns that have achieved outstanding results. This year’s edition marked the tenth anniversary of the EEA awards during an impressive gala in Berlin, bringing together agencies and companies alike.