Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) in the context of displacement Position Paper
Quality Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) services have the potential to strengthen resilience and address the needs of families and children in different contexts, including war and humanitarian crises and should be prioritised in the humanitarian response to support children and families affected by the war in Ukraine. However, in most countries early intervention is fragmented, mostly provided with an outdated medical approach, and quality ECI is provided by a minority of services, which are limited in their outreach and cannot thus address the existing support needs.
This position paper by the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) delves into ECI’s crucial role in the context of war and displacement, focusing on five countries hosting Ukrainian refugees in the framework of the ECDUR project. The document defines family-centred ECI, then zooms in on the countries of Bulgaria, Moldova, Poland, and Slovakia, which were involved in the project, with information on the state of play about ECI services for the general population and refugee children and families, highlighting challenges and providing key recommendations. Finally, it will conclude with recommendations for the EU to strengthen ECI services in those countries and ensure they reach out to refugee children with or at risk of developmental delays and disabilities, and their families.