News

European Commission’s ECEC Working Group Toolkit features TOY for Inclusion

After two years of work, the European Commission’s Early Childhood Education and Care Working Group is organizing an online launch event Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe: a focus on inclusion and staff professionalization on 3 March 2021. During the launch, two important reports for the field will be introduced:

– the Toolkit for inclusive early childhood education and care and

– the Report on how to recruit, train and motivate well-qualified ECEC staff.

Both reports intend to provide guidance to countries in addressing the most pressing issues related to ECEC staff and inclusive ECEC services, under the broader framework and operationalizing the European Quality Framework on Early Childhood Education and Care. Many country examples, good practices, and successful initiatives. Notably, the TOY for Inclusion project is featured as a good practice in the Toolkit for inclusive early childhood education and care. Find it in the section “Working with families”, page 92.

These reports aim to create a better bridge between practice and policy, between governmental and non-governmental efforts and expertise.

During the event, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel will be joined by:

  • João Costa, Portuguese Secretary of State of Education
  • Roderic O’Gorman, Irish Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth

The event will be held in English. The detailed program can be found here.

How do you join the event?

When: Wednesday, March 3, 2021 – 13:30-15:30 CET

Where: You can watch the event here. You can also follow the event at Erasmus+ on Facebook or on Erasmus+ on Twitter.

Note, no prior registration is required to watch the live stream.

TOY for Inclusion Conversations: Play Hub Coordinators from Hungary

As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers and activities continue to occur in online spaces, TOY for Inclusion is taking advantage of this movement online to showcase some of the most influential and crucial voices of the TOY for Inclusion project.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve shared updates on the work of partners involved in the project. We’ve also highlighted insights from municipalities about the TOY for Inclusion Play Hubs’ unparalleled importance in communities.

Now, we’re handing the microphone to those who are working in the Play Hubs. Listen to hear what Teri, Piri and Bea, Local Action Team (LAT) Coordinators in Hungary, want you to know about their work.

Meet the interviewees

Name: Kanalas Terez (Teri)
Years working as LAT coordinator: 3

Name: Lakatos Richardne Piroska (Piri)
Years working as LAT coordinator: 3

Name: Szabo Beata (Bea)
Years working as LAT coordinator: 1

Q: What do you think makes the TOY for Inclusion approach unique or different from other initiatives for young children and their families?

Teri: From the very start, creating a welcoming atmosphere in the Play Hub was very important. It is a safe place for the families, not only because they have access to toys but also because they are loved and cared for. That is why it is different. 

Bea: The main difference is that most programs target children, but the Play Hubs are for the whole family; the parents, the grandparents, and the relatives. Adults can talk to each other as well, so this is for building community. Another aspect is that we target families with very different backgrounds from the community, and a group of local professionals support its operation.  

Q: We know that one of the most important features of the TOY for Inclusion approach is the flexibility, can you explain how your Play Hub adapted during the pandemic?

Piri: During the pandemic, we all are restricted; rules regulate our work, but we did not want to limit our relationship with the families, so we turned to the online space. We invited the families to contribute by reading poems, telling tales, and discussing how they spend their days in the new situation.

Bea: Following the national restrictions and rules, we changed to an online operation as well. We had a continuous dialogue with the Nagydobos Play Hub to share ideas between the local families and the professionals. Our idea was to find ways to help the families to cope with this new situation. We asked the local pediatrician (who is a member of the Local Action Team) to talk about the pandemic from a health perspective. A psychologist also guided us on dealing with distancing, and a teacher helped the children and parents do schooling from home. A special educator advised the parents if they should ask their kids to continue the school tasks during the summer or not. 

I want to highlight two community events. We held an online May Day event, which was a one-day program for the local families. In cooperation with the local professionals, we created short creative videos to entertain and activate the families for the whole day. The other was the online Advent Tale Calendar. Each day during Advent, a parent, a child, a local professional, a member of the local coordination team, or a colleague from Partners Hungary recorded a tale. We posted them on the Play Hub Facebook page. 

It has been challenging as, after six months of regular operation, we had to close down again, but it seems that the community remained together and followed us. One of our videos reached 30,000 people. 

Q: Can you tell us about one reaction, feedback or comment from a family or child attending your Play Hub that had an impact on you personally, or that ‘touched your heart’? 

Bea: There is a very shy young boy, and after the third visit, he held my hand at a carnival in the garden. I like it so much when I walk down the street and children greet me, asking when the next time they come to Play Hub will be. I heard a story from my colleague about a little boy who enjoyed playing with a toy, and he liked it so much that he asked for the same for his birthday.

Another meaningful memory for me was a therapy workshop where children talked about their fears, and the parents also had good discussions with a psychologist. For me, that was a little miracle event. 

Teri: It happened at the very beginning, a grandmother came to the Play Hub with her grandson for the first time. The little boy looked into the Play Hub, turned to his grandma, and said: “Let’s go home; I’d like to change and put on my nice clothes to come here.” It was so memorable for me that I will never forget. 

Q: What are two things you want policy makers to know about TOY for Inclusion?

Piri: In Nagydobos, the most important thing is that there is a place where families with different backgrounds can come together. They can talk and discuss things. Mothers are also able to exchange experiences, so there is a shared space. Mothers can learn how to play with their children here. There is always some housework to do if they are at home, cleaning, cooking, and there is no time to play with their children. Here it is possible: playing obliviously together.

Bea: I can connect to what Piri has said. This program builds community. Something was missing here in Csobanka. Families did not have much to do or a place where children could go after school to play for half an hour. Besides, it strengthens the community. There is a tremendous amount of knowledge that the local professionals hold about the families, and previously there was no forum to get together and share. 

Q: Can you share in a few words what makes you proud to be a Local Action Team coordinator/Play Hub Assistant? 

Teri: What I’m very proud of is that we can keep up the quality of our work.

Bea: The LAT became a professional forum here. We can count on each other, which was proven by the big online events that I have already mentioned, the online May Day and Advent Tale series. I think the Play Hub now has prestige, and it has spread in the neighboring villages that Csobanka has a Play Hub. 

Piri:  I’m the proudest that the Play Hub is three years old here, and we can count on the local professionals; at any community event, they come to volunteer. 

Whatever our problem is, whatever we would like to organize, we can turn to them. And what is even more important is that we have built and kept the trust of the families, the local professionals, and directors of the local institutions. 

Piri, Teri, Bea, thank you for sharing your perspective.

Watch the interview in Hungarian.

TOY for Inclusion shares Impact Evaluation and Policy Recommendations

The TOY for Inclusion consortium has released the project’s Impact Evaluation and Policy Recommendations.

Using a qualitative methodology for data collection and analysis, this report evaluates the impact of the TOY to Share, Play to Care project (a project which built on the work of TOY for Inclusion).

The Executive Summary of the TOY to Share, Play to Care: Impact Evaluation and Policy Recommendations report shares key findings taken from the full report authored by Mathias Urban, Gillian Lake, Geraldine French, Fiona Giblin, and Thérèse Farrell of the Early Childhood Research Centre at Dublin City University.

You can access the Executive Summary here.

Four Years Later: Reflections on the TOY for Inclusion Project

This month, the TOY for Inclusion project titled TOY to Share, Play to Care, co-funded by the European Commission and the Open Society Foundations, will come to a close. This project built and expanded on prior work, which introduced the TOY for Inclusion approach. 

TOY for Inclusion moves away from the belief that some children and families are harder to reach. Instead, it aims to make services easier to reach by promoting inter-sectoral work, flexible solutions, and contextualized responses to young children and their families’ specific needs. 

Throughout these four years of work, partners have created an exceptional approach that is well-received by communities and can adapt during crisis periods and to different contexts. 

Francesca Colombo (ISSA) and Giulia Cortellesi (ICDI) reflect on the project’s work, its sustainability, and its impact.  

Listen to this interview or read the transcript below

Francesca: I am Francesca Colombo, senior program officer at International Step by Step Association. I am here today with Giulia Cortellesi, senior program manager at ICDI, International child development initiative, and coordinator of the TOY for Inclusion project. Welcome, Giulia! I will ask you a few questions about the TOY for Inclusion approach, its impact, and scalability. 

Giulia: Hi Francesca, thanks for inviting me to do this interview. 

Francesca: When did the TOY for Inclusion project begin, why was it envisaged, and for whom? 

Giulia: TOY for Inclusion began in 2017, so four years ago, and the idea was to create spaces that would bring Roma and non-Roma children closer, so in places where there is segregation. And this is why we decided to build the early childhood Play Hubs in 8 European countries, which are spaces where young children and their families can come, play, borrow toys and participate in activities. Since 2017, the idea has changed and evolved based on its success with the first initial target group. We started to explore opportunities to make Play Hubs non-formal education spaces for all children, of course with a special eye to vulnerable ones of all backgrounds

Francesca: Thank you Giulia, we know that the approach’s flexibility is essential to TOY for Inclusion’s success. Can you share some examples of how this flexibility was key during lockdowns due to COVID-19?

Giulia: Yes, sure. Actually, the COVID-19 for TOY for Inclusion turned out to be more an opportunity than a challenge. This is because of the TOY for Inclusion approach’s flexibility and because every Play Hub is managed by the Local Action Team composed of representatives of relevant local institutions and organizations. Every Play Hub looks different based on the context where it operates, so it was really easy to adapt our activities to the new conditions of the lockdown and pandemic. For example, in many cases, the Play Hubs and their staff offered psycho-social support to children and families using remote calls over the telephone, which was something that formal services were not able to offer.This was a great support for the families who were experiencing stress and frustration during this period.

Another example is the help given to children who did not have access to tablets and computers to follow and attend online education. So, thanks to the Play Hubs and their flexibility, we made a lot of computers and tablets available for those children and even set-up community laptops in the Roma settlements so that children could go there, do their homework, or at least print the homework and bring them home. We also organize homework support remotely. And in Italy, for example, there was a nice initiative to create a mobile Play Hub. It was not possible to organize the regular sessions in the Play Hub. Thanks to this mobile Play Hub, which is a van that contains a lot of toys and educational materials, it was possible to set-up a Play Hub outdoors and organize activities. All this while still following the rules and the restrictions of the lockdowns. The mobile Play Hub even attracted new beneficiaries and age groups during these challenging times.  

Q: That’s amazing, Giulia. Can you tell us some key challenges and opportunities presented throughout the TOY for Inclusion journey?

A: Yes, sure. A challenge from the very beginning was finding a balance between attracting children and families from the mainstream community and the more vulnerable families from the minority communities. In some cases and some locations, the Play Hub was visited mainly by children and families from the Roma community. It was hard to attract children and families from the non-Roma community. In some other places, this was the other way around. Luckily, thanks also to the Local Action Team and the TOY for Inclusion approach’s flexible structure, every Play Hub was able to develop a tailor-made outreach strategy to make sure that new families and communities could join the Play Hub’s activities. This was done in many different ways, including home visits, distribution of toys directly in the community, mobile Play Hubs, organizing cultural events in the hubs, and favoring outdoor play rather than indoor play. So it was really about building bridges and building trust with children and families in the various communities and slowly bring them in the Play Hub. And this really is something that is paying off after these four years.

Yesterday I was participating in the Italian TOY for Inclusion’s final online event, and there was this representative of the social services in Mazara del Vallo in Sicily. She said something that really struck me. She said: “you know I am a representative of social services, which is something that is normally feared by families, especially vulnerable families, who often see me as the person who can decide if they can keep their children or if their children go in foster care. Thanks to this project, I was able to participate in non-formal educational activities, show families my face in a non-threatening place, join them in fun activities, and see them in a context where they were not pretending and putting up their good face for me. I was seeing their normal interactions with their children and with other families. So now, I know them better, and they know me, and we have an open line of communication that we have never had before”. 

Francesca: Connected with what you have just said, Giulia, if you have to resume in a few words, what is the most meaningful impact of the TOY for Inclusion project in your view?

Giulia: In a few words, it is hard to really summarize the many results and outcomes, and successes of this project. But I would definitively say that we succeeded in bringing families and children closer to services, but most of all, services closer, more approachable, and accessible to them. Thanks to this, many children who would not necessarily go to pre-primary and primary school are now going to formal education, which is a great achievement. We have created safe spaces that belong to children and communities where they recognize themselves and feel a sense of ownership. This gives us a lot of hope for the future because it means that these families, these children, these communities will fight to keep these places open and to do meaningful activities in these places for the years to come. 

Francesca: So we know that the project is coming to an end. Do you have any plans for the future of the TOY Play Hubs? Are they going to be open or, what are the next steps?

Giulia: All the Play Hubs that are currently operational, which are 15 in 8 European countries, will stay open also in 2021, 2022. Most of them receive support from the local authorities. Most of their costs, or some of their costs, will be covered by Municipal budgets, which is also another great achievement. In some other cases, our local partners succeeded in securing the support of local foundations or local corporations that would cover the rest of the costs. I am happy to say that all Play Hubs will stay open and, in some cases, we are even going to expand in new locations in some countries thanks to new funding that came available. So, the dream of TOY for Inclusion to have one Play Hub in every European city is not going to end now, it is actually alive, and it will go on for the next years. 

Francesca: That’s very important. And my last question for you is about the international partnership because we know that the project has been implemented in different European countries, so in your view, what has been the added value of the international partnership? 

Giulia: Having an international project and partnership has been key in developing the TOY for Inclusion approach. I think this approach would not have been the same without this international partnership. We really built this approach based on the experiences and expertise of all the partners of the project and really taking into account how the local context can influence what kind of services and activities children and families need.

We have learned from each other, both the partner organizations and the Local Action Teams, which have been able to meet and exchange experiences on a regular basis throughout these four years. This is also what the members of the Local Action Teams and the partners regard as the most beautiful experience of these four years, this opportunity to get to know like-minded people, grow together, develop together, and learn from each other. Thanks to this cooperation, I am proud to say that we now have a well-developed and structured model with a lot of tools available and translated into many languages that are ready to be used by organizations in other countries to open new Play Hubs and apply the TOY for Inclusion approach. So, I am really thankful, and I actually would like to use this opportunity to thank all the partners of TOY for Inclusion for the wonderful work done in the past four years. 

Francesca: Thank you so much, Giulia, for giving us this overview of the TOY for Inclusion project. I would like to invite our listeners to learn more about the project on our webpage.

For specific questions regarding the TOY for Inclusion project, please access the links below.

How can trainers and practitioners be empowered to set-up and operate play spaces for individuals from different backgrounds and ages? See here..

What are some recommendations to practitioners and local authorities on implementing TOY Play Hubs? See here.

Where can someone learn more about the costs of setting up and running a Play Hub? See here.

Where can readers hear the perspectives of those involved in the project (children, Local Action Teams, municipalities)? See here.

Visit the TOY for Inclusion Frequently Asked Questions page to get more answers to your questions about the TOY for Inclusion project.

TOY for Inclusion Conversations: Play Hub Coordinators from Slovakia

As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers and activities continue to occur in online spaces, TOY for Inclusion is taking advantage of this movement online to showcase some of the most influential and crucial voices of the TOY for Inclusion project.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve shared updates on the work of partners involved in the project. We’ve also highlighted insights from municipalities about the TOY for Inclusion Play Hubs’ unparalleled importance in communities.

Now, we’re handing the microphone to those who are working in the Play Hubs. Listen to hear what Peter and Štefánia, two Local Action Team (LAT) Coordinators in Slovakia, want you to know about their work.

Interview with Peter Strážik

Country: Slovakia
Job title: Primary School Headmaster
Years working as LAT coordinator: 5 years

Listen to the audio in Slovakian or read the interview in English below.

Q: What do you think makes the TOY for Inclusion approach unique or different from other initiatives for young children and their families?
A: This approach offers new opportunities to work with families, especially with children from excluded communities in Slovakia. The TOY Play Hub philosophy provides a system based on volunteering, welcomes the participation of all ages, and focuses primarily on the child’s development through play.

Q: We know that one of the most important features of the TOY for Inclusion approach is the flexibility, can you explain how your Play Hub adapted during the pandemic?
A: It is a really challenging period for the organization actors, but especially for families with children. We try to be versatile; we support leaflets and information, give out disinfectants, facemasks, and help children with homework. Also, following the current measures, we still carry out activities in smaller groups.

Q: Can you tell us about one reaction, feedback or comment from a family or child attending your Play Hub that had an impact on you personally, or that ‘touched your heart’?
A: There are many such situations, but one reaction of a Roma mother was amusing and profound at the same time: “If the Play Hub is always there, we will have a lot of children because we have a place to go with them.”

Q: What are two things you want policy makers to know about TOY for Inclusion?
A: They should come and see the sophisticated system and strategy, how we operate, and the level of interest in our activity in our community. Secondly, as the elementary school headmaster, they should ask me about how better-prepared children are for the first year of school, thanks to the Play Hub.

Q: Can you share in a few words what makes you proud to be a Local Action Team coordinator/Play Hub Assistant?
A: I am happy to see dozens of children and parents playing together, without prejudice, even though they are from different backgrounds. We are a unique example of good practice for the whole of Slovakia.

Interview with Štefánia Pastoreková

Listen to the audio in Slovakian or read the interview in English below.

Country: Slovakia
Job title: Pre-school teacher
Years working as LAT coordinator: 2 years

Q: What do you think makes the TOY for Inclusion approach unique or different from other initiatives for young children and their families?
A: It is something new and unknown in our region. At the same time, it is a functional mechanism compared to dozens of projects that have not always met their goal and were not sustainable.

Q: We know that one of the most important features of the TOY for Inclusion approach is the flexibility, can you explain how your Play Hub adapted during the pandemic?
A: If we did not have a Play Hub in this community, the only source of information would be the media and doctors. I feel that we replace the state’s role, but we are happy to help these families in need in the form of visits, leaflets, or by offering free disinfectants.

Q: Can you tell us about one reaction, feedback or comment from a family or child attending your Play Hub that had an impact on you personally, or that ‘touched your heart’?
A: Young parents of three children who visit us regularly asked us if we could open a new Play Hub in the community where their family lives because they think it would help them.

Q: What are two things you want policy makers to know about TOY for Inclusion?
A: First of all, it is about flexibility. People from ages 0 to 90 visit us, and we have prepared the place and activities for everyone. Next, the way we work is meaningful but not financially demanding, so Play Hubs should be present in every community.

Q: Can you share in a few words what makes you proud to be a Local Action Team coordinator/Play Hub Assistant?
A: I can really be proud. I have gained new knowledge through great training, and I see amazing feedback from the most vulnerable.

TOY For Inclusion Conversations: Play Hub Coordinator From the Netherlands

As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers and activities continue to occur in online spaces, TOY for Inclusion is taking advantage of this movement online to showcase some of the most influential and crucial voices of the TOY for Inclusion project.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve shared updates on the work of partners involved in the project. We’ve also highlighted insights from municipalities about the TOY for Inclusion Play Hubs’ unparalleled importance in communities.

Now, we’re handing the microphone to those who are working in the Play Hubs. Listen to hear what Esther, a Local Action Team (LAT) Coordinator in the Netherlands, wants you to know about her work.

Interview with Esther Postma

Listen to the audio in Dutch or read the transcripts in English below.

Role in TOY for Inclusion: 
Local Action Team Coordinator

Where: 
the Netherlands

Job title: 
Family Coach

Years as LAT Coordinator: 
1 year

Q: What do you think makes the TOY for Inclusion approach unique or different from other initiatives for young children and their families?

A: First, let me say we have an amazing team. But what makes the difference is that we are working with Roma “bridge figures” (individuals who help us connect with the community).

Kali and Antonio (“bridge figures”) generally know how to win the Roma community’s trust. They help us introduce the various activities that we offer in our Play Hub in an accessible way. The activities are mainly aimed at developing self-confidence, identity, or talents. We also notice that Roma in the community enjoy coming to the TOY Play Hub and that they are enthusiastic about the range of different activities that we offer. We also notice that the mutual trust between the authorities and service providers and the Roma community is improving. Everyone can be themselves and we learn from each other.

Q: We know that one of the most important features of the TOY for Inclusion approach is the flexibility, can you explain how your Play Hub adapted during the pandemic?

A: It was indeed a difficult time. We had just started with our Play Hub and then we had to close down for three months. We had regular contact digitally with our team. We have used this period to expand and strengthen our team and discuss our goals. Furthermore, Kali and her children put together small packages with toys, books, and candy and brought these to about 50 children at their homes. The families were very enthusiastic, and we received happy reactions.

Q: Can you tell us about one reaction, feedback or comment from a family or child attending your Play Hub that had an impact on you personally, or that ‘touched your heart’? 

A: Certainly. One child counted on his fingers when he could come back to the TOY Play Hub. Many children are impressed that the TOY Play Hub and the activities are a free service, as they are used to the fact that they or their parents usually pay for activities or clubs. Mothers say: “Finally, I can spend some time on myself,” or, “I have never thought about questions who I am, what I want or what I want to achieve in life.” These were some of the comments from mothers during a workshop we held.

Q: What are two things you want policy makers to know about TOY for Inclusion?

A: The target group is very difficult to reach. That makes the bridge figures the key to the success of our TOY Play Hub. In addition, we have the freedom to modify our work as we see fit. I think this is positive because we are able to adapt the project and services to the needs of children and parents that we are working with.

I want to highlight it takes a few months before the project can be set up in the right way for a community. It would have been convenient if we had more clarity in advance about possible follow-up financing. Seeking close cooperation with the local municipality in advance may offer a solution, both in terms of follow-up financing options and working on joint objectives.

Q: Can you share in a few words what makes you proud to be a Local Action Team coordinator/Play Hub Assistant? 

A: It allows me to set up something nice and positive for people in the community that are often shown in a negative light. It enables me to work with a very nice team. 

We also have the freedom to design our own project. We can adapt it to the needs of children and families. Each week I see happy children and parents that learned something new. And each week is a challenge to make the right choices and find partners to make it a success. We achieve small but beautiful results, and I am very proud of that.

Thank you, Esther Postma, for sharing your experiences with the TOY Play Hub in Enschede. Esther was interviewed by Iara de Witte.

TOY for Inclusion Conversations: Play Hub Coordinator from Turkey

As the COVID-19 pandemic lingers and activities continue to occur in online spaces, TOY for Inclusion is taking advantage of this movement online to showcase some of the most influential and crucial voices of the TOY for Inclusion project.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve shared updates on the work of partners involved in the project. We’ve also highlighted insights from municipalities about the TOY for Inclusion Play Hubs’ unparalleled importance in communities.

Now, we’re handing the microphone to those who are working in the Play Hubs. Listen to hear what Bilgehan, a Local Action Team (LAT) Coordinator in Turkey, wants you to know about his work.

Interview with Bilgehan Çıray

Role in TOY for Inclusion: LAT Coordinator
Where: Turkey
Job title: LAT Coordinator
Years as LAT Coordinator:
Almost 1 year

Q: What do you think makes the TOY for Inclusion approach unique or different from other initiatives for young children and their families?
A: The important thing here is to reach disadvantaged children. Families who already have a certain income level can offer their children the necessary opportunities. However, disadvantaged families cannot always provide their children with age-appropriate materials, as they do not have access to the same options. With the TOY for Inclusion project, we offer a playground to children who might not have access otherwise. We aim to contribute to their social and cognitive development. Families are aware of this opportunity and support them as much as possible.

Q: We know that one of the most important features of the TOY for Inclusion approach is flexibility. Can you explain how your Play Hub adapted during the pandemic?
A: As many know, during the pandemic, we are not able to gather together. However, children have to be able to be children. So, we sat down with our team and evaluated what we could do under these circumstances. We came up with the idea of delivering toys to children, keeping safety measures in mind. We disinfected the toys and brought them to the children so that they could play in their homes. After some time, we disinfected toys and traded them out for new ones. This way, children could play with different toys.

Q: Can you tell us about one reaction, feedback or comment from a family or child attending your Play Hub that had an impact on you personally or that ‘touched your heart’? 
A: We focus on disadvantaged children. These children may not have as much access to playgrounds as their peers. One day I went to check on the playground, and I saw a four-year-old boy. He was pushing a toy truck across the garden. For a moment, the boy looked up and gave me a warm smile. That smile was like the price of all my hard work.

Q: What are two things you want policy makers to know about TOY for Inclusion?
A: Many policy makers have a lot to say about children but do not listen to preschool teachers or child development professionals, which is a problem. For more children to access playgrounds, local policy makers need to act.

Q: Can you share in a few words what makes you proud to be a Local Action Team coordinator/Play Hub Assistant? 
A: In our country, and in other countries, there are many spaces and opportunities for adults to socialize. However, this is not the case for children, especially when mothers and fathers are working. Often, children are placed in the background. We offer children, especially disadvantaged children, the opportunity to improve their social and cognitive skills in an important period of their lives. This is our greatest source of pride.