ECI AGORA PROJECT
“Development of early childhood intervention services through interaction and cooperation”
The project is an innovative pilot initiative in 5 countries of Central and Eastern Europe (Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Romania and Bulgaria), aimed at overcoming the challenges in implementing strategies for the implementation of effective early childhood intervention services (RDI) for children with disabilities .
Working with partners from across 5 Central and Eastern European countries (Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Poland, Romania), the ECI Agora Project will work to create national ECI Agoras, which will enable services to:
- Share expertise
- Find solutions to their identified problems
- Connect with potential partners for their project
- Find potential funders for their investment plans
Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) provides specialised services to infants and young children with additional support needs and their families, to aid their development, well-being and participation in family and community life.
Well developed ECI systems can help to fulfil the rights of children with disabilities, promote rich and fulfilling childhoods and prepare children for full and meaningful participation in adulthood.
In Europe today there remains a divide in access rates to quality ECI services however and despite the proven benefits of ECI it is rarely high on the political agenda of policy makers.
The ECI Agora project aims to change this and support the development of adequate ECI systems at a local and national level by:
- Supporting staff professionalisation in ECI services through the development of training modules adaptable to the needs and context of each organisation.
- Creating an all-embracing learning and convening space to bring together essential actors to co-produce high quality ECI services.
- Producing practical guidance and tools to provoke a systemic change on the social welfare system.
- Developing examples that can serve as inspiring guidelines for other countries in Europe and other groups of children with special needs or at risk of exclusion.
The duration of the project is 28 months – from January 2018 to April 2020 inclusive.
The following organizations participate in its implementation:
European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities – EASPD (Belgium), a leading organization
National Association of RDI Service Providers (Slovakia)
Gezenguz Foundation (Hungary)