SPYNKA – early education programs

Since April 2022, the Comenius Foundation, also known as FRD (Fundacja Rozwoju Dzieci), has been partnering with international donors, NGOs, and local governments to implement the SPYNKA program to support children and mothers from Ukraine.”
SPYNKAs are nurture-based early childhood education and care programs for Ukrainian families in Poland.

 

Programming:

  • Full-day nurture-based nursery programs for children 1-3 years old*
  • Full day nurture-based toddler programs for children 4-6 years old*
  • Drop-in centers for short-term care at reception points for children aged 2-6 years old*

* Educators speak Ukrainian and Polish and participate in a 160 hour certification process. All educators are trained in Psychological First Aid and trauma-informed care.

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SPYNKA – СПИНКА

The word Spynka (Спинка) is Ukrainian for chair back or spine. In Polish, it is associated with a hairpin or paperclip – an object that has the power to connect. The name reflects the foundational beliefs of this program: we support by connecting, we connect by supporting.

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SPYNKA – CENTERS

These are full-day care centers for young children with professionally prepared educational programming designed to meet the unique needs of children displaced by war. For both Ukrainian children and their mothers, Spynka are places of adaptation and integration into the local community. They provide a sense of stability and security.

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SPYNKA – EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION

We provide Early Childhood Development services for currently displaced Ukrainian children that have been traumatized by the war immediately following several years of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

SPYNKA – Child Care
We provide full-day child care for mothers who need to work in Poland but are unable to do so unless they have a safe place for their children.

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SPYNKA – SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN, MOTHERS, AND EDUCATORS

The basis of all our activities are the needs of children. Children from Ukraine have lost everything they know – they are in great need of the stability.

Evidence shows that early childhood development is an outcome of healthy, nurturing interactions between caregivers and children. As such, it is critical that the needs of both the caregivers and the children are met. This is why SPYNKA provides professional psychological support to our mothers and educators through contracted psychologists. Additionally, all educators are trained to identify children who are in need of pediatric psychological support and will make these referrals, with the consent of the parents, when necessary. The costs of all psychological services are covered by FRD.

We operate thanks to the support of our partners:

SPYNKA in numbers:

New Spynka centers are opening weekly. We provide a sense of security, restore childhood, offer psychological and therapeutic support.

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Children reached
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Operating facilities
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Educators trained and employed

Our objectives & actions

01.

Support

Supporting mothers and young children from Ukraine by providing quality care for young children and assistance for refugee families as they adapt to a new environment.

02.

Education & daily care

We organize full day care and early childhood education for children in different age groups:

1 – 3 years old – up to 15 children with 3 certified educators

4 – 5 years old – up to 25 children with 3 certified educators

We also provide drop-in centers for short term care for children aged 2-6 years old.

03.

Training

We provide training for Ukrainian educators to work at Spynka- centers of care and education for young children. Educators go through 160 hours of interactive training to receive the certification necessary to work in Spynka centers, and all educators participate in 120 hours of continuing education training each year. Substantive supervision of the training process is provided by our team of pedagogists, psychologists, and trainers experienced in working with young children and trauma-informed care.

HOW TO HELP UKRAINIAN CHILDREN IN POLAND?

Ukrainian children have experienced war, which has strongly shaken their sense of security. So it is natural that they will stick close to people they know. They will not always be open and willing to take on new challenges. Therefore, they should not be separated from their loved ones and thrown unprepared into an unfamiliar environment, such as a kindergarten group or a school classroom. Such actions can have dramatic consequences. Children may feel lonely, frightened, unable to communicate, alienated, or of no value at all. They may suffer and gain nothing from education, because their brains are not ready for development. The inclusion of these children in the educational system must be carried out progressively and great forbearance should be shown. It is necessary to be gentle with the children, but also understanding of Ukrainian mothers who are coping with their own trauma and still responsible for their families. They probably won’t always be able to give their children the support they themselves so desperately need.

So when helping let us remember:

Not to separate children from their loved ones. At the beginning, let’s organize joint meetings so that children can at any time have contact with their mother or another person with whom they feel safe. Let’s get to know each other through joint activities. Even if we don’t know Ukrainian (because we’re unlikely to), we can do something together.

What specifically can we do?

Adaptation classes in kindergarten. Outside of kindergarten working hours, classes can be conducted by a kindergarten teacher, and can be attended by both parents and Ukrainian children, as well as willing Polish children with their parents. Such classes can be organized once a week, usually last 1-2 hours, have a steady rhythm and allow the groups to have fun together. The better the weather, the easier it is to organize these classes outdoor – the children have more freedom, and the parents have the opportunity to get to know each other.

Adaptation in the form of picnics and joint activities of the kindergarten, preschool or school community. A picnic can take the form of an excursion, bonfire or outdoor games. It can also be about working together – renewing a fence, building a shed or preparing beds for children’s crops. The possibilities are plentiful – the idea is to involve refugee families in joint activities for the school or kindergarten their children will attend. It’s important to feel needed. Let’s move together – a joint bonfire, a walk in the neighborhood, a trip to the woods, tidying up the garden together where vegetables can be planted.

Organize a fundraiser so that mothers don’t have to look for any work right away, but have time to assimilate their own children first and give them a safe start. Many refugees are talented and have a lot of work experience. With a trusted place of care for their children at least some of them will be able to find a job that will give them a sense of being needed and valuable. I wish this so much for everyone.

Monika Rościszewska-Woźniak
CEO, COMENIUS FOUNDATION FOR CHILD DEVELOPMENT

Formularz zgłoszenia dziecka do Spynki / Формуляр запису до Спинка

Spynki – grupy dla dzieci są organizowane i prowadzone przez Fundację Rozwoju Dzieci im. J. A. Komeńskiego w ramach programu SPYNKA. Jeśli chcesz zapisać swoje dziecko do Spynki zapoznaj się z Regulaminem, wypełnij i wyślij poniższy formularz. Wysłanie formularza nie gwarantuje miejsca w Spynce. Po wysłaniu zgłoszenia skontaktuje się z Tobą przedstawiciel Fundacji.
СПИНКА – групи для дітей організовує та проводить Fundacja Rozwoju Dzieci im. J. А. Komeńskiego в рамках програми СПИНКА. Якщо бажаєш записати дитину до Спинкa, будь ласка, ознайомся з  Правилами, заповни та надішли поданий нижче формуляр. Подача формуляра не гарантує місця в Спинка. Після подання заявки з Тобою зв‘яжеться представник Фонду.

Uwaga! jeżeli chcesz zgłosić do Spynki więcej niż dwoje dzieci, dla każdego z nich wypełnij nowy formularz.

Увага! якщо ви хочете номінувати на “Спинки” більше двох дітей, заповнюйте нову форму на кожну з них

SPYNKA through the lens

Let's be in touch!

FUNDACJA ROZWOJU DZIECI
IM. JANA AMOSA KOMEŃSKIEGO

Address

ul. Topiel 23,
00-342 Warszawa

Questions, complaints, requests

If you have questions, that cannot be answered by the Educator

If you want to complain about something/someone related to Spynka

If you see a problem, that cannot be solved by talking to Educators

If you want to tell us about a situation that concerns you

If… – on all other matters

Fill out the online complaint and request form and send it to us. We will, within 3 days at the latest, deal with the issue you have reported.

If you find it difficult to fill out the form, you can write an email to ukraina@frd.org.pl or fill out a paper form and give it to an Educator or Regional Coordinator (ask Educators for the form printout and contact to the Coordinator). We will deal with issues reported via this route within 7 days of receiving the report.