The International Step by Step Association offers programs and services to support community programs in advocating for strong civil society to ensure high-quality care for all children of all ages especially the poor and disadvantaged, inclusion and diversity, and inclusion of families and communities participating in the learning and development of children. Their action pillars are geared towards access/equity, quality/professionalism, and parents/community.
The access and equity pillar of ISSA applies a proactive approach to promoting equity and diversity by empowering educators through training that could transform individuals and become agents of change. Topics range from Identity, How Exclusion, Inequity, Discrimination, and Oppression Are Perpetuated, Language and Communication, and Giving Voice to Families and Communities.
The quality and professionalism pillar includes access to Quality Resource tool to members of the organization and monitoring and evaluating program quality for continued improvement. A big component of the quality tool is the investment on teachers to deliver effective and successful education system. A support for professional development, responsible and responsive practices to cater for the needs of children and their families and an Early Childhood Development systems composed of individuals, teams and institutions are essential elements of quality programs. Part of ISSA’s initiatives to promote quality and professionalism is by providing a leaflet, “Give Your Child the Best Start: Laying the foundation quality learning” to parents that outlines their roles and responsibility in understanding the development of their children. It includes suggestions and recommendations on how parents can interact with their children. Also, the leaflet for educators, “Early Childhood Educators Change Lives – You Can Make a Difference!” ISSA believes that “motivated and qualified educators who provide quality teaching impacts happy and well-adjusted children.”
ISSA’s efforts to empower educators and families to promote quality education for all children demonstrate how much the education sector can contribute to improving the lives of children. Being a part of an organization like ISSA could provide ways on how to make one’s voice matter and have access to resources advocate for change.