UNICEF Donates Toys and Equipment Worth 415,000 Kuna to Kindergartens
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Maja Vučić has handed over a donation consisting of didactic equipment and toys to children and staff of the Vodice kindergarten ‘Tamaris’. The ceremony took place at the Vodice City Library. Tamaris is one of seventeen kindergartens in the Šibenik-Knin, Sisak-Moslavina and Vukovar-Srijem counties that took part in the programme ‘A Step towards Inclusion’. Besides the training of kindergarten staff and other preschool education experts, the programme included the donation of didactic equipment and toys worth 415,000 Kuna.
The programme was initiated by UNICEF and the Open University Step by Step with the aim to ensure equal possibilities for early childhood education for all children, especially children with special needs and those living in isolated places or in poverty.
Since expert support is key to kindergarten inclusion, a significant part of the programme was dedicated to professional training of kindergarten staff.
UNICEF’s Ambassador Maja Vučić stated, “Although all children have equal rights to preschool education some are deprived of these rights and consequently of equal opportunities to realise their full potential. Therefore, UNICEF and the Open University Step by Step have been helping kindergartens to strengthen their capacities and facilitate the most vulnerable children’s integration into preschool education programmes.”
Maja Vučić added that after completion of the training and the handover of donations all kindergartens participating in the programme will be provided with professional support to implement the programme and cooperate with families. Six kindergartens that participated in the programme ‘A Step Towards Inclusion’ in Šibenik-Knin County received toys and equipment donations worth 143,000 Kuna.
In Šibenik-Knin County besides the ‘A Step Towards Inclusion’ programme UNICEF and its partners have also been conducting the programme ‘For a Better Start’, which includes parent advisory centres, logopaedic services for the early detection of speech and language disturbances, as well as workshops and playgroups for children who lack access to kindergarten. Some kindergartens in Šibenik have also been implementing the programme ‘Let’s Grow up Together’, which consists of workshops for parents of young children, and the programme ‘Let’s Grow up Together PLUS’, which is intended for parents of children with special needs.
In Šibenik UNICEF also implements the programme ‘Make it Equal’ in collaboration with the Croatian Association on Early Childhood Intervention. The aim of the programme is to support children with special needs.
Vodice, 15 December 2015.