We offer two days of conferencing: on 18 & 19 June. You can however join our Pre-conference Events on 17 June 2019 or stay to experience some site visits to services on 20 June 2019 in the Leiden area.

Pre-conference Events 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 have a variety of inspiring field trips listed below. 

The deadline for site visit registration is 30 May 2019. If you are interested in attending, please contact us at registration@issaconference.net.

About the Site Visits

Site Visits give participants insight into Leiden's diverse childcare services, including childcare facilities, schools and other services and initiatives. Site visits are open to everyone who registered for the ISSA Conference.

During visits, no photographs are to be taken of the children (privacy). For photos of the facility itself, please ask permission of the contact person on site. 

Some readings on the Dutch Early Childhood Education and Care system:


Site Descriptions:


De Dukdalf Openbare Jenaplanschool (Integrated Children Center/ Public Primary school De Dukdalf)
Category: Primary education and integrated after school care (4-12 years)

  • Time: 10:00-12:00
  • Distance from city center: 27 minutes by public transport

This primary school is in the process of transforming into an Integrated Children Center, an intense cooperation between school and childcare. There is a continuum of the pedagogical approach between the school and the care. The director of the school will explain the why, how and what of becoming an integrated children center. How they started, what are their experiences and what are their goals. The school works with Jenaplan education and it is very active on an international level and has participated in diverse Erasmus+ projects with a lot of European countries.

This site visit will be hosted by Child Care International, an ISSA member.




Speelgroep JES Rijnland (Playgroup JES Rijnland)

Location and program in which parents come with their babies/toddlers to meet and play with other parents and children. They take part in a variety of activities together.

The main purpose is supporting parents, handing out tips and tricks, exchanging experiences with other parents and enforcing their parenting skills. Children learning to play with other children.




Antroposofische halve dag opvang

  • Time: 10:00-11:00
  • Distance from city center: 26 minutes by public transport

Gouden Poortje offers its services from an anthroposophical pedagogical angle. This view comprises the assumption that children are able to develop naturally when given the right examples and impulses from the adults in their environments. The natural environment (nature) and its resources at the basis of play and learning.






Peuterspeelzaal Floddertje (Toddlercentrum Floddertje)
Category: Toddlercentrum, a playgroup for toddlers (2-4 years)

  • Time: 10:00-10:45
  • Distance from city center: 15 minute walk

Toddlercentrum is a facility for children between age 2-4 can come to play. Pedagogical workers interact two half-days with the children on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. A half day accounts for three hours. Floddertje is a facility for toddlers situated in Leiden’s city center.

Other social organizations are in the building as well, such as the Center of Youth and Family, where parents can immediately address parenting issues or other child care issues. Floddertje has a city playground, accessible directly from the room. The team organizes field trips with parents and children regularly, under which to the petting zoo. Surrounding public holidays they encourage children to bring food from within their culture.

Floddertje works with the VVE Piramid methodology which comprises several themes to stimulate child learning and development, align with individual child needs.





Consultatiebureau Oosterkerkstraat | Centrum Jeugd en Gezin (Consultation bureau Oosterkerkstraat | Center of Youth and Family)
Category: preventive childcare service for families with children (0-4 years)

  • Time: 11:00-12:30
  • Distance from city center: 13 minute walk

The consultation bureau is a service where parents can go for preventive child care. It provides pre-school children (age 0-4) with-regular health checks and preventively screens health problems.

The consultation bureau on the Oosterkerkstraat sits in the Center of Youth and Family in the city center. It also offer pedagogical advice and youth health care.

Parents can come in and address all kinds of questions or concerns surrounding children and parenting. Services comprise various forms of child, parenting and family counseling.

Methodologies used:
Triple P,  a parenting methods that comprises positive parenting

1 family, 1 plan When a family receives care from different services, 1 family, 1 plan, brings several forms of aid together
Youth Match, a service which aligns – when applicable – several youth workers and their efforts. 





Woutertje van Leyden (Primary school Woutertje van Leyden)
Category: Public primary school for children (4-9 years)

  • Time: 10:00-11:00
  • Distance from city center: 15 minute walk

A new school, no children older than 9 are in the class rooms yet (age group 4-9).

Every child is different and learns different. Either on another level or in another way. By offering the subject matter in various ways, children discover in what way they learn best. Woutertje van Leyden chose to place children in units, groups that comprises of children with overlapping ages.

This year, two groups of children aged 4-5 and 6-9 exists. Within their specific age group children also have a mentor. They start and end the day with their mentor, who also keeps close watch on individual developments with the children. Together they make plans to achieve learning goals. This way, children learn to be co-responsible for their own development.

Woutertje van Leyden strongly believes in the child’s ability to develop its own talents and to learn how to use them. By this way of talent stimulating the child prepares itself for the world and its own future. But not only by themselves, also by peer learning from class mates and teachers.






Monday, June 17, 2019





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

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. Attendance at the welcome Reception and ISSA's 20th Anniversary Celebration is included in the conference registration fee.



Tuesday, June 18, 2019




19:30 - 22:30

Conference Dinner (optional by registration).
Leiden City Hall, Stadhuisplein 1, 2311 EJ Leiden

Join us for a conference dinner at a unique city venue.

The Leiden City Hall has been situated at the same location since the Middle Ages. The remarkable façade dates back to 1595/96 and has a Renaissance style. However, behind the façade you find a modern building constructed after a fire in 1929.

Enjoy the ambiance of the festive Burgerzaal and take this opportunity to network and meet informally with other conference participants.


Please note that seats are limited, we suggest to sign up soon via the conference registration form.


Price: 55 EUR per person incl. VAT, with a buffet dinner and drinks included.





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 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 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 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 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

Rembrandt Walk




Highlights of the city – City and Almshouses tour




History of Diversity Walk







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.

A minimum of 5 participants is required for the walking tour to take place.

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.

A minimum of 5 participants is required for the walking tour to take place.

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’). 

A minimum of 5 participants is required for the walking tour to take place.

Price: 10 EUR / person, incl. VAT.



Canal Boat Trip


June 18 18:30-19:30

June 19

Canal Boat Trip







Leiden Canal Trip
Sail through Leiden and you will experience the historical culture of the city: national monuments, musea and almshouses are all situated near the water. You'll sail past the Weddesteeg, the street where Rembrandt was born. And the Botanical gardens, which date back to 1581. The Hortus Botanicus is part of the University of Leiden, the oldest university in the Netherlands: from the canal you'll get the best view!

Leiden still has two original city gates, one of them being the charming Zijlpoort which dates back to the 16th century. Also, a rich variety of monumental canalside houses, old factories and storage halls are passed. These buildings are characterized by all sorts of gables, such as the stepped gable and Dutch gable. In short: a must see for culture lovers.

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

A minimum of 16 participants are required for the boat tour to take place.


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










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.



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.


During the ISSA Conference 2019 we will celebrate ISSA’s 20th Anniversary, starting as an association in 1999.

Over the past 20 years we have become a solid and reliable network of knowledge in the Early Childhood Development field. We have reached a commendable membership base of 90 non-profit organizations whom we support to grow the quality of early childhood services in their community, city or country. And we are still growing!

Together, we strive to bridge Eastern Europe, Western Europe and Central Asia, sharing knowledge, experiences and lessons learned via our highly appreciated Peer Learning Activities, professional development events and, of course, through the ISSA Conference, where we share new ideas and approaches, and we lay the foundations of new collaborations. We’ve kept and will keep expanding our scope to cover various aspects of Early Childhood Development and to nurture meaningful changes within the field.

The year 2019 also marks the 25th anniversary of the Open Society Foundations’ Step by Step Program, upon whose legacy and resulting network ISSA continues to build.

We look forward to celebrating these anniversaries with the conference participants during the Welcome Reception on the evening of the 17th of June. We hope you will join us, so much to celebrate!

News on the Keynote Speakers will follow soon!