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Emergency aid for children and parents from Ukraine is no longer enough – what’s next?

The next stage of life: addressing the changing needs of refugee children and parents from Ukraine

Fundacja Rozwoju Dzieci (FRD) is entering the second stage of SPYNKA – FRD’s program to support children under 6 years old and mothers fleeing the war in Ukraine by providing needed childcare. In the first phase FRD focused on opening “drop-in” childcare centers next to the refugee services offices as well as creating facilitated Playgroups in high density Ukrainian communities.

As of June 17th, more than 4 million refugees had arrived in Poland, of which over 1.1 million had applied for temporary residence, allowing them to be legally employed (as well as receive other benefits such as healthcare). The demographic cross-section of registered refugees from Ukraine shows that almost 50% are children. The current system of care for nursery and pre-school children is facing a great challenge to respond to the existing needs. Steps taken like increasing the limits of children in nursery and pre-school groups are still not sufficient to provide quality care for children with trauma.

Long-term solution: 100 daily care nursery and preschool programs for Ukrainian refugees in 100 days

FRD’s original plan focused on creating various forms of care and support for children and refugee mothers, with the permanent forms of childcare included in the later stages. With the financial support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Foundation established 30 Spynka programs. In addition to drop-in care points, such as the one operating at the UNHCR headquarters, FRD has been training Ukrainian facilitators for over two months already and opening local facilitated playgroups for children up to 6 years old.

Currently, there are 28 childcare centers in 4 Polish provinces: 6 in Lublin, 4 in the Podkarpacie region, 11 in the Tri-City (Gdansk/Gdynia/Sopot), 3 in Łomianki and 4 in Warsaw. Several more will open in the upcoming week. It is still not enough and the needs are growing. More and more children require daily care as their mothers need to start working to cover the basic needs of the family. That’s why FRD has set the ambitious and critical goal of opening 100 childcare centers in 100 days.

FRD is seeking cooperation and actively looking for partners and sponsors – entrepreneurs, organizations, local governments, companies, individuals – that would like to become part of making the 100 SPYNKA programs reality. For more information: mailto:jtrzcinska@frd.org.pl