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Eurlyaid Newsletter March 2021 Overview of 2020

Dear colleagues and friends,

We wish and hope all of you were able to get into 2021 healthy and well.

We have noticed clearly all of you have made huge efforts to continue working during 2020 and will go on in 2021.

We noticed because of all the work we did with many of you and in Facebook posts, mails and by other news we saw and received.

Many webinars, online conferences to substitute in person conferences and other meetings were organized. But also our colleagues that work directly with families found ways to continue in digital ways.

Chapeau for all of us! It hasn’t been easy but we all did the best we could under these very new and extreme circumstances.

Our hope is vaccination will have the effect we can ( at least partly) regain life as we always knew it. But we will have to wait a bit longer before that will be known.

Eurlyaid also had to postpone our planned annual conference in Praha, October 2020.
At the moment we also do not expect it to happen in 2021. The board is working on alternatives and we will inform you when there is more clarity.

This newsletter aims to provide you an update on our activities during 2020, which we would have presented in case the conference would have occurred.

In case of questions or remarks feel free to contact us:

Projects, updates:
  • The AVAPACE project, with Spain, Portugal, Hungary and Italy was finalized. In October we have send you the latest update before the project was ended. As soon as we have the final report from the Spanish EU-office we will communicate about the follow up, how materials will stay available and some of the plans project partners have to work with the outcomes.
  • September 29th Marga Cañadas represented Eurlyaid at a Spanish webinar on the AVAPACE project, the last activity of the training and she talked about family-centred practices. Project leaders Rosa Fernández and Lucia Perez Palao presented the project and a father and other practitioners national and international shared their experiences in ECI.
All newsletters you can find in:

No need to say all of us regretted we could not have our last meeting in person and say goodbye after the work that has been done during the last 2 years.

  • The AGORA project got permission from the VELUX foundation, due to Covid ánd the huge work we still are and have been doing, to extend the ending of the project to June 2021. We were very happy with this extension, value it and needless to say again: it’s regrettable we -as in all project partners- have to do 100% online. But we manage. At the moment a video and 2 reports are being finalized before we can put them online. We will inform you, when they are ready, by newsletters and on Facebook (#Eurlyaid)
Within the AGORA project it was possible, for all partners, to translate the “Recommended Practices in Early Childhood Intervention: A Guidebook for Professionals”.

ECI Guidebook | EURLYAID - E.A.E.C.I.

The Polish and Bulgarian version are already online (see link above) !

At the moment this is a work in progress and as soon as translations, editing and printing is ready we will inform you through newsletters and FaceBook:

Poland: “Wczesna interwencja. Praktyki rekomendowane. Poradnik dla specjalistów.”

Bulgaria: Препоръчителни практики за, Ранна детска интервенция, Ръководство за специалисти

Hungary: Családközpontú, mindennapi tevékenységekre alapuló, a család természetes közegében nyújtott kora gyermekkori intervenció lehetőségei Magyarországon. Országjelentés az ECI Agora pilot családközpontú koncepciójának gyakorlati alkalmazhatóságáról.

Romania: 'Practici recomandate în intervenția timpurie: un ghid pentru profesioniști'.

Slovakia: Odporúčané postupy včasnej intervencie: Príručka pre odborníkov

Velux gave permission to EASPD to use budget, that was planned for traveling and a conference and will not be used, to facilitate more translations:

Albania and Greece have started the process of translation.

It’s a great honour and joy so many colleagues in so many different countries will be able to use the information in the Guidebook.

Apart from the AGORA project translation into Russian, Ukrainian and Turkish has started.

It’s our experience during in person meetings, either for projects or training, many times, during dinners and drinks, when it seems “we are just having fun” the conversations, exchange of ideas, vivid discussions are of the utmost importance and value. And that’s an aspect all of us miss dearly. Skype, zoom and other possibilities enable us to continue but could not replace those creative and inspirational moments.

  • Recently a new EU project started in which we are consultants for a limited number of hours:
“Boosting Parental Involvement in ECI” with Turkey, Serbia, Hungary and Czech Republic.

It was the first time a “kick-off” meeting took place online.


During 2020 we have been active in multiple trainings.

In March 2020 we had planned to be in Khujand, Tajikistan, facilitated by Open Society Foundation, for a first week of training in Khujand organized by Mrs. Akhmedova Sabohat Khakimjanovna from Ranginkamon and a conference in Dushanbe organized by Mrs. Lola Nasriddinova from “Early Start” - ECI Network of Tajikistan.

It was a hard decision but we had to cancel already because of CoVid. First time ever we had to cancel a planned trip. Our initial hope we could go in October “vanished into thin air” in the following months.

For the first time, as alternative in March during 2 days, we used digital means for interacting with participants from Tajikistan:
Because we still could not travel, during October 2020 and the first week of November the 2 Tajikistan partners organized with us in total 18 online training sessions with many ECI colleagues from Tajikistan and neighbour countries.
Topics were:

Evidence Based Practices in ECI
Screening and assessment in ECI

It was intense, not in the least because of the overwhelming participation, enthusiasm and concentration from all involved. But we do hope one day we can go to them and work in the way we like best: in person.

In 2021 we will have multiple follow up online sessions/webinars with them in which questions, experiences, answers and exchange of information and ideas will be the topics.

Following the training in 2019, with support of and in cooperation with ANIP, Open Society Foundation and UNICEF we continued in 2020.

The Serbian group during the training in August 2019:
February 2020:

Training February 24th to 27th
February 28th Round table with parents:
- Interview Ana Serrano, Chair Eurlyaid on Serbian TV - Belgrado, March 3, 2020:
Interview Serbian news magazine on Febr 28th:
UNICEF Bulgaria initiated a series of online training in Bulgaria that started in December 2020 and will continue in 2021:
November 9th 2020, Regional education in Project organized by colleges from Slovenia, IRIS Center for Education, Rehabilitation, Inclusion and Counseling for the Blind and Visually Impaired Ljubljana. Participants were from Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia.

Snezana Ilic presented EURLYAID work, membership process, Projects and activities. There were 27 participants.
During 2020 we joined conferences and webinars, as presenters or listeners:

1) ECD-Tf: Impact of COVID-19 on ECI Services, May 6th, June 16th and July 16th.

Ana Serrano on topic: The impact of COVID-19 on National ECI Systems, 16th June 2020
Noor van Loen on topic: Support of International and Regional Organizations for ECI in the Time of COVID-19 July 16th
“Early Childhood Intervention in Europe – How can the EU support children with disabilities from the very first step?”

Webinar 8th of September 2020 attended by Ena Heimdahl and Jeanette Persson:
The webinar presented a good possibility to reach out and learn about the different conditions under which ECI is operating.

Such professional exchanges and meetings are extremely important to build bridges and provide knowledge to each other. It is good to discover that sharing ideas-even digitally because of Covid- with like-minded colleagues can only improve the practice of ECI in the different countries, despite national differences and sometimes different use of concepts.

Albania, Finland, Greece and Slovakia presented about the situation in their countries on the support for children with disabilities.

The situations in the countries differ but common vision was: it is important and urgent to present and prioritize questions to governments to do something now! The focus needs to be on child and their parents.

Presenters asked parents to inform them how to support them. They need national guidelines how to organize and deliver early intervention. They also identified the need to train professionals and staff.
3) Ana Serrano, Noor van Loen and Anna Kukuruza:
conference presentations on request of Mrs. Oksana Orozbaeva, Development Director of PF "SOS Children's Villages Kyrgyzstan", Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, September 29th 2020. With: Ministry of Social development and labor, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education
4) Ana Serrano: "Steps for a change in paradigm in ECI: The experience of EURLYAID", November 8th , 2020

III International Conference on Early Intervention
This conference was an important ECI conference for Ibero-American Countries and it was organized by the Observatório Internacional de Atención Temperana , Capacitas UCV and University of Santa Paula, Costa Rica , having a strong participation from all countries in Central and South America as well as Spain and Portugal.
5) OSF
On Dec 16th we said “goodbye” to OSF because their program on ECI was terminated after many years they invested in ECI. We could understand the reasons but it is with sadness, because during many years the cooperation was very constructive and clear.

We joined their “farewell” webinar on Dec 16th.

6) Reimagine Australia (formerly known as Early Childhood Intervention

Ena Heimdahl enjoyed several webinars. On May 6th about “Building Capacity through Family Centered Practices in an Online Environment” and May 14th. a webinar about play. The title was "Play-meaningful Engagement for children in early years".

This webinar boosted our energy. The spirit of willingness and high professionalism combined with a profound respect for human being and nature jumped from the screen. The only problem was the time zone. They live on the wrong side:)

7) EURLYAID in Serbia online
Horizontal exchange in ECI teams in Serbia, Meeting with participants and National supervisors.
International supervision, EURLYAID in Serbia, Ana Serrano with UNICEF and Serbian Supervisors of ECI teams, July 2020.

Activities from the Board:
During 2020 the board of Eurlyaid continued to have online meetings. Fortunately we are used to this but besides our online meetings the moments we normally can work and are together in person during conferences or project meetings …we missed it. In total we had:

1 meeting “before Covid” and in person in January 2020

10 regular meetings and on specific topics in between meetings.

Project budgets are sufficient and we manage according to project-rules.

Eurlyaid Members in March 2021

Country Members
Albania 3
Andorra 2
Austria 10
Belgium 6
Bosnia and Herzegovina 2
Bulgaria 13
Croatia 18
Cyprus 2
Czech Republic 63
Denmark 4
Finland 1
France 9
Germany 29
Greece 19
Hungary 5
Iceland 3
Ireland 14
Latvia 1
Lithuania 2
Luxembourg 2
Macedonia 5
Malta 1
Moldova 2
Montenegro 2
Netherlands 11
Norway 9
Poland 8
Portugal 55
Romania 3
Russian Federation 11
Serbia 21
Slovakia 3
Slovenia 10
Spain 99
Sweden 4
Switzerland 7
Turkey 25
Ukraine 20
United Kingdom 20
United States 14
Canada 1
Australia 4
New Zealand 2
Cape Verde 1
Costa Rica 1
Côte d'Ivoire 1
Liberia 1
South Africa 1
India 4
Bangladesh 1
Nepal 1
Tajikistan 1
Uzbekistan 2
Argentina 4
Brazil 13
Chile 2
Colombia 1
Paraguay 1
Venezuela 1
Total Members 581

On Facebook we have 634 followers at the moment.

We will keep you updated about progress during the next period, stay healthy!
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