This is a community where two out of five children do not attend kindergarten programmes and the facility was made possible as part of the UNICEF’s programme “Phase III of the Preparatory Action for the EU Child Guarantee.”
The EU-funded Child Guarantee is aimed at breaking the cycle of disadvantage.
According to the information available on UNICEF’s website, the “Child Guarantee” is an initiative of the European Commission that aims to ensure that the most vulnerable children in the European Union have access to healthcare, education, childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition, ultimately aiming to ensure the progressive realisation of child’s rights in Europe.
The 24-month pilot programme called “Testing the Child Guarantee in the EU Member States,” is supposed to contribute to developing the Child Guarantee framework at the EU level as well as showcase innovative approaches and develop national action plans to reduce child poverty and address systemic disadvantages for children in seven member-states: Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Greece, Italy, Lithuania and Spain.
Attending the ceremony, Vesna Šerepec of the Croatian Education Ministry said expressed hope that on her next visit to the centre, she would meet smiling and happy children using these facilities.
The head of UNICEF’s office for Croatia, Regina Castillo, said that the centre was not a substitute for a kindergarten but an excellent supplement.
This is the fourth centre of its kind in Croatia, and the third in Međimurje County.