A Minority within a Minority? Social Justice for Traveller and Roma Children in ECEC


  • Colette Murray

Colette Murray, Equality and Diversity Early Childhood National Network (EDENN), Dublin, Ireland, murraycolette@yahoo.co.uk


This article discusses recent policy developments in Europe regarding Roma and Traveller integration and Early Childhood Provision. After a long history of oppression, Roma issues have recently become prominent on the EU policy agenda. The article discusses how these relate to developments in other areas of policy: the European children's rights agenda and the recognition that early childhood education and care is a key policy tool to combat social exclusion. It gives background information on Roma and Travellers in Europe and discusses the consequences of subsuming the various communities under one umbrella term: Roma. The EU Commission is concerned with responses from Member States to the European Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies. The article argues that in order to address Roma children's experience from a holistic perspective, social justice and equality need to be key elements of early childhood education and care provision and training. The European policy developments that frame the article are examined from a local vantage point: the experiences of Traveller and Roma children in Ireland and the Irish Preschool Education Initiative for Children from Minority Communities.