“With the children on the lake”, a project for children and their families

Average reading time: 4 minutes

That project “With the children on the lake” was born from an intuition of Mariuccia Asylum Fund and of Eureka cooperative and it is aimed at children aged 0-3 years and their families. The two realities have chosen to network and create a consortium of twenty partners, including 11 municipalities, the Valli del Verbano Mountain Community, various associations and entities in the third sector, as well as a specialist center.

The project involves two areas in the province of Varese: the Luino area and the Laveno-Cittiglio area. These are mainly mountainous areas, dotted with 52 Municipalities often small or very small (even with a few hundred inhabitants) and with scarce public transport, especially in the inner valleys, and affected by a slow depopulation process. In an area with similar characteristics, access to services is often difficult, as are the opportunities to create and maintain formal and informal support networks for families. That the context of fragility worsens The increasing difficulties of counselors in offering services and the increasing pressure to which the offices of the municipal social services are subjected reduce the possibilities of taking responsibility.

There are also numerous migrant families living in the area and it is more difficult to contact the various services for 0-3 minors., and for reasons of cultural diversity and of non-necessity; even among Italian families, many do not attend 0-3 worship services because they have no need. This situation in recent years has been further exacerbated by the constraints imposed by the pandemic.

The outcome of the pandemic phase also suggests the need for a more conscious use of natural heritage and outdoor activities. The area that the project is aimed at is rich in natural beauty, we wanted to offer tools and opportunities where the enjoyment of nature becomes an opportunity for experiences and relationships even for the little ones.

That project it is therefore placed in the planning framework for the animation of the territory and intends to offer opportunities for discussion and socialization to prevent the emergence of difficulties in the parental role and to activate a network that acts as a privileged observatory to capture any growth difficulties in children.

The project proposals are many:

– children’s area: they are meeting rooms for children accompanied by their caregivers, where the little ones can play and perform pedagogical and socialization activities prepared by the educators that act as “models” for the adult. Adults, for their part, will have the opportunity to exchange views, share experiences and build informal groups. 3 fixed child places and 3 traveling child places are activated.

During the weekends and during the spring and summer periods, “BimboBus”, a van equipped with all the necessary materials, will carry out activities with animation of the territory for suggestions that can be used by the whole family in parks and meeting places.

– Parental information: the service must support the new and existing children’s rooms with the aim of providing new parents with a range of information in the light of the many and varied questions and confusions that arise in relation to the birth and the first months / years of a child’s life. The service will be able to provide pedagogical advice, support in the presentation of the various bonuses and guidance on access to the various services or specific advice that may be needed. The service will be available in person, but also online.

– Peaceful parent: a home care of the core is envisaged, which results in the accompaniment of an operator (nanny, 0/3 service educator with very solid experience) throughout the perinatal period, characterized by building a relationship of trust, transfer of knowledge, actions of security and monitoring of the core. The service is designed to be activated both at the direct request of the core and at the indication of Social Services, which would have an additional protection and protection tool that can be used.

Train a babysitter and find a babysitter: Training courses for babysitters will be activated with the aim of providing the necessary tools to perform the babysitting function with adequate attention. A supply / demand cross-referencing tool will be set up, which may represent a reference point for families in the area, where only a number of “trained” babysitters will be “enrolled”. The babysitter qualification courses will be activated free of charge and at the same time as the supply / demand matching service and will be repeated throughout the project’s three-year operating period to keep the register up to date.

Outdoor classrooms: The Covid-19 emergency has taught us how much outdoor space can be valued and used in educational work in all age groups. However, being outdoors and educating open spaces is not the same thing. Open pedagogical spaces, especially in the age group 0/3, require a special structure that primarily responds to the need to protect children, without, however, making the pedagogical feeling of the experience disappear. Pedagogical planning courses, construction and maintenance of outdoor teaching spaces are made available for the services 0/6 years, which end with specific training courses for use. In addition, permanent outdoor teaching studios will be activated for use both for adult education (teachers, educators, parents) and for specific activities aimed at children with their caregivers.

Widespread training: the area affected by the project has a particularly varied 0-3 service system, ranging from micronids controlled by 1 or 2 people and active for a short time to dimensionally important services with more than 30 years of history behind them; we have services that are completely linked to individual initiative and services that are born and grow in connection with public initiative.

“The training and sales promotion in outdoor teaching has been identified as cardinal and strategic in order to establish the largest possible number of best practices in the field – comment on the organizers -, we want to identify the second basic and cross-cutting cornerstone of widespread training in the prevention of operator burnout and in the early recognition of ill-treatment. We will therefore build as varied a training catalog as possible, which the individual training agencies can book for ».

Regarding the formal education of parents, we will move forward with strategies to reactivate the pedagogical curiosity in presence also through peer-to-peer training, followed by a limited number of meetings characterized by presenters / communicators with a secure interest placed in large events .

Leave a Comment