LOBBY & ADVOCACY
Cultivating reading habits from a young age sets the foundation for language development and literacy skills.
It is indeed a precious gift when adults take the time to read aloud to children, sparking their love for books.
Reader for a Day
We introduce special guests to the reading islands of kindergartens in disadvantaged areas. They delight in reading wonderful stories aloud to the children, nurturing their passion for reading.
Liana Alexandru, Cezar Paul Bădescu, Cosmin Bumbuț, Marius Chivu, Marius Constantinescu, Dana Deac, Andreea Esca, Răzvan Exarhu, Cristina Flutur, Mihaela Frank, Cristian Ghinea, Oana Giurgiu, Peter Hurley, Eugen Istodor, Marcel Iureș, Marius Manole, Cristian Mungiu, Bogdan Nicolai, Philip O’Ceallaigh, Ana-Maria Onisei, Adelin Petrișor, Florin Piersic Jr., Dan Rădulescu, Marian Râlea, Victor Rebengiuc, Adina Rosetti, Cristina Stănciulescu, Dan Tăpălagă, Ioana Ulmeanu, Luiza Vasiliu, Sergio Ruzzier, Katharina Scheidereiter, Ligia Deca, Sebastian Burduja.
Each visit brought immense joy to the children, as it is rare for someone other than their teacher to spend time with them. It made them feel valued, and their parents proud and happy. It was a confirmation that they are on the right path by bringing their children to kindergarten. As a teacher, every handshake filled me with hope. Thank you!
Izabella Orban, a kindergarten teacher in Apața, Brașov county
After spending an hour with these children as their teacher, I realized that many of our prejudices are built upon the assumption of equal opportunities. Access to civilization may seem normal today, but not in Apața.
Răzvan Exarhu, journalist
"I sincerely wonder who learned more from this meeting: them or me?"
The Preschool Law
OvidiuRO has been actively involved in shaping effective public policies for early education, especially for disadvantaged children.
In 2015, estimates showed that only one in 3 disadvantaged children had access to early education, while nationally, over 80% of preschoolers attended kindergarten for only one year.
Our country faces one of the lowest literacy rates in Europe, with a third of the total number of children living in socio-economically disadvantaged communities. These children exhibit significant differences in reading and writing skills compared to their peers.
The Fiecare Copil în Grădiniță Law (or The Preschool Law) has played a crucial role in Romania’s strategy to achieve its objectives of reducing school dropout rates (to 11.3%), poverty, and social inequality, as derived from the Europe 2020 Strategy.
In this program, we considered three main objectives:
Reducing school dropout
Promoting equal opportunities in education
The food coupon incentives
The conditioned food coupon incentives, based on children’s attendance in kindergarten, have shown to be an incredibly effective tool in motivating disadvantaged families to ensure their children attend kindergarten daily.
Initially valued at 50 lei/month, the coupon’s value has increased over the years due to legal modifications. Presently, the food coupon amounts to 120 lei/month.
As soon as the methodological norms were finalised in January 2016, OvidiuRO organised informative sessions with local authorities in all 41 counties.
The meetings aimed at disseminating the implementation procedures of the law and provided an opportunity to address issues raised by mayors and kindergarten directors.
In each county, the local meetings followed county meetings with representatives from prefectures, county councils, and school inspectorates.
Simplifying the application procedure for food coupons
In 2018, Reality Check (an NGO founded by former staff members of OvidiuRO) conducted a study that revealed how the complicated food coupon application process discouraged numerous parents from applying.
Working together with the Child Protection Directorate within the Ministry of Labour, Reality Check suggested legislative changes to streamline the procedure and motivate more families to apply for the Fiecare Copil în Grădiniță coupons.
In April 2020, the authorities embraced the proposed measure, which was subsequently promulgated by President Klaus Iohannis in the same month.