Studies and Researches



  • Early childhood education and care (ECEC) is one of the most crucial factors in breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty. It improves the development of reasoning skills, increases the ability of a child to cooperate with others, boosts self-esteem and prepares children for the transition to primary school. Furthermore, investment in ECEC reduces spending on social welfare programs, increases tax revenue and increases future economic gains. A Good Start (AGS) aims to increase access to quality ECEC services for disadvantaged Roma children, and to raise early childhood development outcomes for Roma children.

  • A Good Start (AGS) pilot project demonstrated that the reasons for limited access to ECEC services can be effectively mitigated with well-designed and diverse community-based services, involvement of parents and communities, employment of qualified teachers, teaching assistants and mediators, and the involvement of local governments. However, the sustainability of such services can only be ensured if structural problems in mainstream public services are also addressed. Although recent European Union policy documents recognize the importance of high-quality ECEC, the EU regulatory framework and national programming documents must address the increased vulnerability and discrimination facing Roma children when accessing ECEC.

    “It has been repeatedly and convincingly proven that investment in early childhood education and improving school attendance and completions are the most promising interventions to break the intergeneration transmission of social exclusion. Moreover, effects are strongest for poor children and children whose parents have little education.” Also available in Macedonia and Slovak

  • Evidence-based inclusion policies require the collection and evaluation of high-quality data that has been ethnically disaggregated in order to accurately measure and respond to instances of exclusion. However, there is a significant dearth of ethnically-disaggregated socio-economic data on Roma from public and private sources. The lack of data is a result of issues relating to the collection of ethnic data and indicative of a broader lack of data on marginalized groups in general. As with any pilot project, the AGS project methodology and its implementation were of extreme importance when designing the data collection framework. In order most effectively evaluate the progress and results of the ASG project, data collection and methodology were subject to input from Roma Education Fund, the Slovak Governance Institute, United Nations Development Programme and World Bank staff members.

  • All boys and girls, regardless of their background, abilities, health, place of residence, or socio-economic status, have the right to quality early childhood education, healthcare, and equal life opportunities. This guide is intended to support professionals and para-professionals who are committed to creating better life outcomes for vulnerable Roma children and to helping them reach their full potentials. The information is founded upon the underlying principle that access to high quality early education based on the principles of equality and inclusion plays an important role in child development and can contribute to breaking the generational cycle of poverty and social exclusion facing many marginalized populations.

  • The positive consequences of early school enrollment on continuation to higher levels of education have been clearly documented. Quality educational services during the first years of childhood – before entering compulsory education – increase opportunities for all children and the likelihood of their subsequent success. However, significant barriers to early enrollment exist for many marginalized and socially excluded populations including the Roma. In order to ensure equality in accessing early education, a concentrated effort is necessary from all parties involved in the educational process. This guide is intended to serve as an aid for individuals and organizations on how to achieve these parties.

  • "While only 10% of children ages 3-6 enrolled in kindergartens had some, usually mild problems with understanding the language tuition, according to their parents, their share is doubled at the entry to primary school."