TOY (Together Old and Young) project update August 2018

In October 2017 and January 2018 partnership planning meetings were held in Greece and Spain to discuss the content and to film tutorials for the online course. In May 2018 the Ireland partner DIT (Dublin Institute of Technology) hosted a 5 day international training seminar involving 5 TOY trainees from each country who had completed the pilot course. This allowed the course creators to gather feedback and amend the pilot course accordingly. It was also a very beneficial opportunity for practitioners from each participating country to meet and share their knowledge and experiences. The NI TOY trainees included Activity Co-ordinators from 2 care homes, a day nursery manager, and representatives from the education and community sector.

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We are now heading towards the final stage of the TOY project with the last partnership meeting to be held in Italy in October 2018.
Dissemination seminars in each project partner country will also be held in the Autumn of 2018. The Northern Ireland venue date and time will be confirmed shortly and you would be most welcome to come along and find out how the TOY course may be beneficial to upscaling your skills in an intergenerational framework. It will also be a chance to hear from practitioners who have taken part and delivered early years’ intergenerational sessions.

We expect it will be of interest to early years practitioners and Activity co-ordinators in care homes and sheltered housing schemes for the elderly.

The course has been advertised on the TOY website and Registration is open: http://www.toyproject.net/toy-course

Together Old & Young: Practitioners Learning and Upscaling Skills

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Linking Generations NI has recently become a partner in a new project called TOY-PLUS: Together Old and Young Practitioners Learning and Upscaling Skills.

TOY-PLUS is the natural follow-up to all the research and practice carried out during the past four years by the TOY partners. We identified the lack of training opportunities and adequate knowledge about intergenerational learning principles and practice as a major gap to ensure the implementation of meaningful and quality intergenerational experiences between young children and older people. The project TOY-PLUS will close this gap.
TOY-PLUS is funded by the Erasmus Plus programme – Adult Education (KA2) and will run from 2016 to 2018. It is coordinated by International Child Development Initiatives – ICDI (Netherlands).

Partners:

The partner organisations for TOY-PLUS are: The Beth Johnson Foundation (UK) and Linking Generation Northern Ireland, Dublin Institute of Technology (Ireland), Center for Quality Education Step by Step (Slovenia), Azienda Speciale ReteSalute (Italy), Hellenic Open University (Greece), Municipality of Lleida (Spain).

Activities:

TOY-PLUS will develop, test and disseminate an innovative online curriculum and methodology (MOOC) in IG work for practitioners in early childhood education and care (ECEC), social care and community development work. Specific modules in the curriculum will focus on including newly arrived and resident migrants and Roma in IG practice, as a means of fostering intercultural dialogue, participation and social inclusion.
We will also develop and test an IG quality self-assessment tool (TOY Quality Stamp) with agreed dimensions of quality for local authorities and educational and care services.

Target groups:

Participants in TOY-PLUS will be ECEC and Social Care practitioners and community development workers from 5 countries: Italy, Ireland, Slovenia, Spain and the UK. They will participate in a multi-faceted training and education experience which will incorporate workshops, international training involving study visits, joint reflection and exchange of good practice in IGL, piloting of a massive open online course (MOOC) and creating a peer learning community for IGL.
Other participants in TOY-PLUS will be staff of local authorities and ECEC, and Social Care services, young children (0-10 years) and older adults (65 years +) all of whom will participate in the development and testing of a TOY Quality Stamp. The TOY Quality Stamp will be awarded to local authorities and service providers meeting the IGL dimensions of quality.

Impact and Outcomes:

The impact of TOY-PLUS will be that ECEC and Social Care practitioners will develop skills and competences to deliver successful IGL activities involving young children and older adults, paying particular attention to social integration and intercultural dialogue. The TOY-PLUS MOOC, designed to reach hundreds of practitioners internationally from 2018, will result in increased skills to develop, manage, deliver and monitor IGL practices Europe- and even world-wide.
The TOY Quality Stamp process combined with the TOY-PLUS training will result in improved quality of IGL practice.

For more information on the project visit: http://www.toyproject.net/project/toy-plus/

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