Nearly 55,000 children and their families are supported with early childhood development services under the OPHRD 2014-2



A total of 54,971 children received or continue to receive complex support under the measure "Services for early childhood development" of the Operational Program "Human Resources Development" (OPHRD) 2014 - 2020. The operation created a network for integrated services for early childhood development, which are aimed at children up to the age of 7 from vulnerable groups, including children with disabilities, and their families, as well as future parents.

Over the past seven years, Centers for Early Childhood Development have been operating in 65 Bulgarian municipalities, whose services are provided with funding under the OPHRD 2014-2020. Activities include early intervention of disabilities, direct work with disabled children and their families, including in their homes. Support was provided for the activities of the Family Centers for children from 0 to 3 years of age. The "Services for early childhood development" measure has improved access to health care, formation of parenting skills, improvement of the family environment, increased school readiness of children for inclusion in the education system, and in some cases, their abandonment has also been prevented.

Children and parents are worked with individually and in groups with the aim of attending kindergarten. For children with disabilities, individual pedagogical support is provided, and for children from vulnerable groups - additional pedagogical training to increase school readiness. Support for the formation of parenting skills among vulnerable groups simultaneously with improved children's readiness to learn increases their inclusion and retention in the education system. This helps to limit intergenerational poverty, since precisely the lack of education, which is an obstacle to professional realization in the future, is one of the main factors for it.

"Investments in early childhood care are investments in the human capital of a society and a basic prerequisite for its sustainable development. Therefore, care for children from an early age, with an emphasis on support for their families and provision of integrated services in coordination with other involved ministries and institutions, is a priority in the Government's Management Program and in the activities of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. guaranteed Minister Ivanka Shalapatova during a meeting with representatives of the academic and civil sectors. She discussed the possibilities of providing, through an integrated approach, access to universal and more specialized services for the development of children, with which families are also supported in their efforts to create a more favorable environment for their growth at home.