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EASPD Regional Balkan Provider Forum

Thursday, June 3, 2021 - 10:00 to 12:15

Early childhood intervention services: a steppingstone in developing inclusive communities 

Date: 3rd June 2021 
Time: 10h00-12h15 CEST 

Registration open HERE 
Read the agenda here


The early childhood period is the most important developmental phase which determines the well-being, quality of health, learning and social-emotional behaviour of an individual across the life span. Extensive research has shown that high quality early childhood intervention (ECI) services can change a child’s developmental trajectory and improve outcomes for children, families, and communities at large. At the same time, investment in early intervention and the development of ECI support services are fundamental to avoid the segregation and institutionalisation of children with disabilities and their families.  


EASPD together with The Republic Center for Support of persons with Intellectual Disability – PORAKA (North Macedonia) are organising the 2nd edition of EASPD Regional Provider Forum which will bring forward models of good practice in early childhood intervention from across the Balkan region. By highlighting these practices, we aim to provide a source of inspiration for other support services, decision-makers, and professionals willing to develop or improve ECI services and programmes in their communities across the Balkan region and beyond.  


The event will feature real-time captioning in English and have interpretation in Macedonian.  



10.00 – 10.10

Welcoming remarks

  • Vasilka Dimoska, Board member EASPD & Secretary General PORAKA, North Macedonia

10.10 – 11.30

Good practices in early intervention from the Balkan region
Moderator: Agapi Papadaki, Board member EASPD & Programme Development Manager, Early Intervention for Visually Impaired Children, Amimoni, Greece  

  • Facilitating preschool inclusiveness through innovative tools and the training of educators & support service staff - Eglantina Shllaku, Programs and Development Manager, Help the Life Association, Albania
  • Early Intervention programme in local community kindergartens: early detection of children at high risk of being diagnosed with developmental disorders - Mirella Giannakopoulou, Head of Early Intervention and Pre-Vocational training Department, and Marie-Ange Widdershoven, Head of Mental Health & Social Care Services at Theotokos Foundation, Greece 
  • Early Intervention for Children and Families: Strategies and Challenges-Ana Validzic Pozgaj, Head of the Early intervention, Malidom, Croatia
  • Engaging families in ECI: Lessons learned from the pandemic -Borislava Cherkezova, Director Advocacy, Partnerships and Trainings, Karin Dom, Bulgaria 
  • Online platform as a service for children with disabilities in the period of COVID-19 - Margarita Gulevska, Executive Director, Open the Windows, North Macedonia 

11.30 – 11.45

& A with participants
Moderator: Agapi Papadaki 

11.45 – 12.00

Child Guarantee and other EU relevant frameworks for ECI

Irene Bertana, Senior Policy Officer EASPD 

12.00 – 12.15

Key elements needed to build sustainable ECI services across the Balkan regionmain take-aways from the event
Vasilka Dimoska