Dear fellow believers in the power of education to transform lives,
We are proud that OvidiuRo’s pilot program Fiecare Copil in Gradinita led to the passage of Law 248/2015. Now, households with a monthly income of less than €63 per family member receive €11 per month in food coupons if their preschool age children regularly attend gradinita.
Since the Fiecare Copil in Gradinita law went into effect, România has experienced an increase in both registration and attendance of disadvantaged children in gradinita. Over 70,000 children are registered and 40,000 are benefiting from daily attendance and food coupons each month. This legislation was a major step forward for Romanian education and social equity at the grassroots level. But it was just the first step.
As we helped communities translate law into practice, we were struck by 2 common hurdles:
1. Many kindergartens are not getting ‘fiecare copil in gradinita’ because they don’t have enough classrooms or teachers to accommodate all their children. This is not an insurmountable problem, but it requires extra effort & creativity from the school director. Thus, we are now offering one-time start-up grants to help form new classes.
2. Activities designed to develop children’s readiness for school are often missing from the daily routine, due to many teachers’ lack of training and material resources. For example, only 15% of the kindergartens we visited this past year had a library corner or even a bookshelf, and none contained attractive picture books designed to challenge and engage young children’s minds.
As the Agency for Early Education, OvidiuRo is committed to working closely with public sector officials and kindergarten staff to provide teacher training and educational resources of the highest quality, and to help poor villages spawn additional kindergarten groups so no child is turned away from gradinita because of “lack of space”.
Maria Gheorghiu & Leslie Hawke
Co-founders, Asociatia OvidiuRo