Fiecare Copil în Gradiniță highlights the importance of early education with the goal of putting it on the public agenda as a major national priority. According to international studies, early childhood education programs pay a return of 4-10 times the investment. Preschool reduces the probability of school abandonment, unemployment, and crime.
At the request of Education Minister Daniel Funeriu, OvidiuRo submitted a report on March 16, 2011 on the first six months’ results in 19 communities of the Fiecare Copil in Gradinita program.
Romania’s New Education Law as it relates to early education
On February 9, 2011, Romania’s new National Education Law was ratified. The law addresses early education in the following sections:
Article 23 incorporates pre-preschool education (age 0-3) in the education law for the first time;
Article 28.2 assigns public authorities with responsibility for the step-by-step increase in the availability of preschool in their communities;
Article 23 (b) introduces a mandatory preparatory year (“Clasa Pregatitoare”) for 6 year olds;
Article 58 recognizes the importance of recreational, after-school, free time, and remedial activities;
Article 12.1 mentions that the State is obligated to “sustain” preschool children coming from impoverished families;
Fiecare Copil în Grădiniţă supports the philosophy and goals of the new law with:
- “Şotron Zero” module which provides educational programs for 2-3 years old children,
- Active recruitment of impoverished children for preschool,
- Piloting of “clase pregatitoare” in our program sites in 2011 in partnership with the School Inspectorates, and
- Summer school preparation programs.
The European Union has asserted that it considers preschool education a top priority in order to reduce the number of school dropouts and people living in poverty and social exclusion. On February 17th, 2011, the European Commission launched an action plan for universal access to quality preschool education that will be discussed by the EU member states on the forthcoming Education Council in May.