Mihaela Ionescu


Mihaela Ionescu is a Program Director at ISSA (www.issa.nl), the leading early childhood network for Europe and Central Asia, where she leads the Program team and provides programmatic leadership to the association’s work. An important focus in her work is to strengthen and support ISSA Members’ capacity to work with professionals, parents, administrators, and policy makers to improve policies and practices at country level. For this purpose, she is closely involved in creating opportunities for Members to engage in cross-country learning, pilot new approaches, expand their expertise, so that they can contribute to advancing the early childhood agenda in their countries, as well as in advocacy at the European and country level. Her work sits at the intersection between policy, research and practice, connecting the country level with the regional and global one, using evidence developed at global, regional or country level, to influence the policies at all levels and improve the everyday practice in early childhood services. She constantly observes the changes and developments in the early childhood field so that she can provide guidance to the association’s programmatic development and ensure its significant impact in line with emerging priorities and needs coming from countries. Mihaela has been the editor or coordinator of many publications and articles, such as the Roads to Quality, Quality Framework for Early Childhood Practice in Service for Children under Three Years of Age, INTESYS Toolkit – Towards Integrated Early Childhood System. Building the Foundations, coordinated the programmatic work under ISSA’s Ukraine Response, and leads the Primokiz Initiative which enables local governments to develop needs-based, responsive local early childhood strategies. On behalf of ISSA, she is co-leading the European Campaign on early childhood development, First Years, First Priority, under which she coordinated the development of 11 European country profiles and the thematic paper on the professionalization of the early childhood education and care workforce.