As of now, we are pleased to launch the Call for Proposals. Interested applicants are invited to fill in the requirements below before 10 February 2019.

ISSA encourages all practitioners, training providers, researchers and local, national and international policy- and decision-makers in the field of Early Childhood Development to take part in this enriching event - a great opportunity for shared learning and joint explorations! 

More information about Conference Theme and Strands can be found HERE. Please note that all applications must be submitted in English. And you are welcome to provide one of the following formats for your presentation:

  • Discussion forum
  • Panel discussion
  • Debate on a controversial issue
  • Mind-mapping session
  • Interactive workshop on a specific topic
  • Presentation followed by discussions
  • Open space session
  • Poster presentations

Enquiries about Conference Proposals should be addressed can be submitted HERE.

When contributing to the Conference learning community, please ensure you:

  • Allocate sufficient time during your session for dialogue among participants
  • Encourage critical reflection in discussions
  • Stimulate learning through the exchange of diverse experiences and expertise



Our vision is a society where families, communities and professionals work together to empower each child to reach their unique potential and embrace values of social justice and equity.

We are an international learning community powered by the leading early childhood experts in Europe and Central Asia. We unite and support professionals and partners to deliver high-quality early years services equitably. We challenge existing knowledge and practice and co-construct new approaches and models.

Through our work we advocate for and support competent Early Childhood Systems for all children, especially the most vulnerable. We strive to increase awareness of the importance of Early Childhood Development and of a qualified workforce. As a leading early childhood network and learning community, we promotes quality, equitable and integrated services for children, families and practitioners.

To find out more about ISSA or to join this dynamic learning community, browse the ISSA website.



We offer two days of conferencing: on 18 & 19 June 2019. You can however choose to join our Pre-conference Event on 17 June 2019 and stay to experience some field trips to services for young children in the Leiden area.

Pre-Conference Event 17 June 2019 (optional)
On this day ISSA members and partners will arrange several workshops on diverse topical issues in the early childhood field. You can find the entire Pre-Conference program HERE.

Site Visits 20 June 2019 (optional)
Within and surrounding the City of Leiden, there are many services for young children worth visiting. We are currently discussing a variety of options for inspiring field trips. Please keep sight on our site visit program page, where we will share the opportunities as soon as they have been confirmed.

The ISSA Conference and its program is being put together by a team of dedicated people with a variety of backgrounds and expertises along the lines of Early Childhood Development. They are: 



Program Committee


Organizing Committee


Sanja Brajkovic, Director, Open Academy Step by Step - Croatia

Mihaela Ionescu
, Program Director, ISSA - The Netherlands

Anke van Keulen, Social Pedagogue and Partner, Bureau Mutant - The Netherlands

Chris de Krimpe, Advisor, VBJK - Belgium

Ulviyya Mikailova
, Driector, Center for Innovation in Education - Azerbaijan

Gerda Sula
, Director, Quendra Hap pas Hapi-Step by Step - Albania

Zorica Trikic
, Senior Program Manager, ISSA - The Netherlands





Jeroen Aarssen, Early Childhood Education and Care advisor, SARDES - The Netherlands

Mathijs Euwema
, Director, International Child Development Initiatives - The Netherlands

Liana Ghent
, Executive Director, ISSA - The Netherlands

Carolien de Groot
, Director, JES Rijnland - The Netherlands

Eva Izsak
, Membership Officer, ISSA - The Netherlands









Monday, June 17, 2019





Welcome Reception and ISSA’s 20st Anniversary Celebration
Stadsgehoorzaal, Breezaal. 
Breestraat 60, 2311 CS, Leiden

Attendance at the welcome Reception and ISSA's 20th Anniversary Celebration is included in the conference registration fee. The event will take place in the festive Breezaal of the conference venue, the Stadsgehoorzaal. During the reception, drinks and finger food will be served. 


Wednesday, June 19, 2019

20:00 - Dine out in Leiden in the restaurant of your choice (optional by registration).

Choose from several of Leiden’s finest restaurants for a small group dinner, or use this as an opportunity to network with other conference participants. We offer the following no-host dinner options for conference participants to choose from:



Fish restaurant t’ Crabbetje
Address: St. Aagtenstraat 5, 2312 CA, Leiden

Oysters are known for their pearls and great taste. Crabbetje fish restaurant is one of these oysters in the city of Leiden: a hidden gem with the taste of the sea. The "Chef's choice", Crabbetje's culinary specialty of the daily catch prepared in different ways, is bound to tickle the taste buds of every lover of fish. Chef Theo and host Rene Guijt welcome you to their restaurant.

The 3-course menu includes appetizer, meat/fish/vegetarian main course and dessert.

Price: 35 EUR per person incl. VAT, with one glass of wine and water included. Participants shall to pay for additional drinks based on consumption.



Het Prentenkabinet restaurant
Address: Kloksteeg 25, 2311SK, Leiden

Restaurant Het Prentenkabinet is located in the beautiful old Pieterswijk district of Leiden and has a lovely Park terrace at the back. The special atmosphere in the centuries-old building of the Het Prentenkabinet makes this restaurant one of the most beautiful and characteristic restaurants in Leiden. The cooks of the Het Prentenkabinet are inspired by French / International cuisine and regional products. Menu options:

a) Creamy zucchini soup
b) Rillette of smoked mackerel 
c) Farmer’s veal pate

a) Artichoke with couscous from the oven
b) Skin fried Haddock
c) Roasted loin of veal

Strawberry dessert

Price: 35 EUR per person incl. VAT, with one glass of wine and water included. Participants shall to pay for additional drinks based on consumption.



Jeanpagne Restaurant
Address: Nieuwe Rijn 27, 2312JD, Leiden

Jeanpagne is a bistro & aperitif bar where you can enjoy pure daily fresh products in a relaxed atmosphere. For the dinner you are at the right place at Jeanpagne, where fresh products and the changing seasons are primary matter for both the meat and fish lover and the vegetarian. Jeanpagne is located in the heart of Leiden on the Nieuwe Rijn. From the front part of the bistro and from the terrace you have a view of the Koornbrug and the Stadhuis. The restaurant has a sunny terrace to enjoy your afternoon or evening dinner.

The 3-course menu includes appetizer, meat/fish/vegetarian main course and dessert. 

Price: 33 EUR per person incl. VAT, with one glass of wine and water included. Participants shall to pay for additional drinks based on consumption.



Waag Leiden restaurant
Address: Aalmarkt 21, 2311EC, Leiden

The Leiden Weigh House (De Waag in Dutch) opened in 1659 and for centuries, merchants came here to weigh and trade a variety of goods. Since the summer of 2015 this monument is again the vivid heart of the city of Leiden. A spot that feels like a second home where you can have lunch or dinner under the beautiful vaults of the monumental Boterhal and Waag or in the beautiful glass section in the new construction. The doors of Waag Leiden are open from morning until late in the evening.

The 3-course menu includes appetizer, meat/fish/vegetarian main course and dessert. The menu options will be available in May, 2019.

Price: 37 EUR per person incl. VAT, with one glass of wine and water included. Participants shall to pay for additional drinks based on consumption.


Leiden walking tours in English

Schedule of the tours:


June 18 18:30-20:00

June 19

June 20

June 20 14:00-16:00

Academy Walk





Rembrandt Walk





Highlights of the city – City and Almshouses tour





History of Diversity Walk








Academy Walk
This tour reflects the intimate relationship that Leiden has always had with its University. The guide sets out at the Synagogue at the Garenmarkt and takes you to the Kamerlingh Onnes Laboratory where in the world of Physics and Chemistry history was written. This building is situated where the Gunpowder ship exploded in 1807. The walk continues past the Academy building and the Botanical gardens and you will also visit some almshouses.

Minimum 5 participants should sign up for the walking tour.

Price: 8 EUR / person, incl. VAT.



Rembrandt Walk
This tour leads you through Rembrandt’s Leiden life. The Guide starts at the Stadstimmerwerf (The old construction Wharf) and together you walk past the artist’s place of birth as well as other noteworthy spots showing you what influenced Rembrandt’s early life before he definitely settled as a painter in Amsterdam. The walk ends in the center of town where we can still see the house where this famous Dutch artist had his first painting lessons.

Minimum 5 participants should sign up for the walking tour.

Price: 8 EUR / person, incl. VAT.



Highlights of the city - City- and Almshouses Tour
Leiden as a city evolved along the banks of the river Rhine, where the fortress had been built and the counts had also settled.

Walking along Leiden’s many canals and almshouses the guide will sketch an image of the Golden Age in which the majority of the people depended on the cloth industry and these goods were shipped the world over; a time when Dutch painters flourished and Leiden university was founded.

In short: Leiden is well worth such a tour.

Minimum 5 participants should sign up for the walking tour.

Price: 8 EUR / person, incl. VAT.



History of Diversity Walk
It’s the 1600s and Leiden is bustling with communities of British Quakers, Flemish and German refugees, French Huguenotes, Sephardic Jews and merchants from all over Europe and beyond. Not a minor detail, but at one point making upto 50% of the population! The story of the rise and blossoming of the Dutch republic (16th and 17th century) cannot be told without diversity. Let’s walk by various religious buildings, explore the cultural influences on architecture and reflect on the places of memory of intercultural dialogue as well as conflict. This history helps us to discuss the often praised culture of tolerance in the context of a world of transnational mobility and trade. Finally there is the story of migration in the 20th century, both forced (in the context of World War Two) and invited (so-called ‘Guestworkers’). 

Minimum 5 participants should sign up for the walking tour.

Price: 10 EUR / person, incl. VAT.



Canal Boat Trip


June 18 18:30-19:30

June 19

June 20

June 20

Canal Boat Trip









Leiden Canal Trip
Sailing through Leiden, you will experience the very rich culture of the city: many monuments, museums and almshouses situated on the water. You will sail past Weddesteeg, the street in which Rembrandt was born, as well as the Hortus Botanicus gardens, which date back to 1581. The Hortus is part of the University of Leiden, the oldest university in the Netherlands.

Leiden still possesses two original city gates. The Zijlpoort is one of the city gates that you can admire during your boat trip. As an old Dutch city, Leiden has many monumental canalside houses. These are characterized by all sorts of gables such as the stepped gable and Dutch gable. You will see many examples of these during your canal trip.

Price: 14 EUR per person, including drinks (beer, red/white wine, cola, water).

Minimum 16 participants should sign up for the boat tour.





The ISSA Conference is a good place for sharing information about your organizational work. Why not rent a table where you can display your leaflets, resources and other give aways.

The ISSA conference will bring together over 400 early childhood education professionals from around the globe. This event will provide an unmissable opportunity to create new connections and increase the visibility of your organization.

Take the opportunity to display your service offer, products and resources at a display space, conveniently located in the coffee break area near the conference session rooms. Refreshments will be served within the exhibition area, thus ensuring maximum contact between exhibitors and delegates.

Early bird rate by May 10, 2019: 400 EUR (incl. 21% VAT)
Full rate: 500 EUR (incl. 21% VAT)

Rate includes:
Rental fee 18 – 19 June 2019
Electricity supply (if requested)
One (1) table with two (2) chairs
One Identification sign

Your company details included in the conference Program among the exhibitors of the conference.

If you are interested in signing up for an exhibition space, please contact Eva Izsak (see contact information below).  

Are there other exhibition options you wish to explore? 
Give us a call at +31 (0) 71 5161 225 or write to Eva Izsak at eizsak@issa.nl to discuss other ideas. We will find the perfect solution for your organization.


News on the Keynote Speakers will follow soon!