10.3 Support to youth work
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There is neither a general national legislation related to Youth Work, nor any particular youth work state policy strategy.
As described in subchapter 10.1 there are basically two common understandings of Youth Work activities.
Leisure-based education is covered by the School / Education legislation, and you can find more details also in chapter 6. The most significant legal acts are:
- Act no. 563/2004 Sb. of 24th September 2004 on pedagogical workers
- The Government Regulation no. 74/2005 Sb. of 9th February 2005 on leisure-time-based education (Vyhláška č. 74/2005 Sb., o zájmovém vzdělávání)
The Act on pedagogical workers gives standards for qualification, the scope of professional work and in-service training of different pedagogical workers, including the so-called "leisure-time-based educators".
The government regulation on leisure-time-based education gives professional standards and qualification criteria for the so-called "leisure-time-based educators".
Leisure-time-based education is provided by leisure-time centres for children and youth (Střediska volného času, SVČ), after-school clubs (školní kluby, ŠK) and after-school childcare facilities (školní družiny, ŠD). They are fully or partially financed from the public budget and with a small contribution of the participants. These facilities are established by the state, regions or municipalities, churches, other legal entities, and physical persons. Leisure time centres and after-school clubs cover with their activities all 14 regions in the Czech Republic. In 2021 there were 334 leisure time centres and 603 school clubs. Their activities were attended by 310 043 participants and by 46 544 pupils respectively.
The Regulation allows specialised school facilities to provide school remedial activities and tutoring activities to children to prevent early school leaving. These facilities also serve as a platform for children and youth to enable them to enter a variety of local, national or international projects.
The youth work in children and youth organizations, based on non-formal education, informal learning and personality development is provided by youth NGOs.
The general Regulation is based on the legal framework of the Civil Code and other legislation (for details, see chapter 1.2), such as the
- Act on Public Health Protection (No. 258/2000 Sb.) and the Regulation of the Ministry of Health on hygiene for recreational activities for children (No. 106/2001 Sb.). This act provides regulation and control mechanisms regarding the so-called "recreational stay for children", a part of activities usually organised also by youth NGOs (traditional stay in nature). According to the act, the recreational stay is an organised stay of 30 or more children up to 15 years of age for more than five days. The purpose is to strengthen children's health, increase their physical fitness, or acquire specific knowledge or skills, including many summer camps with younger persons up to 15 years of age.
The Youth Work activities should be available to all interested Children and Young people based on equal opportunities principles.
The state has a policy establishing a framework for NGOs recognised by the Ministry for their children and youth work. Youth NGOs awarded with this title have an easier access to funding, as they meet higher criteria regarding the quality of their work.
The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports provides the Funding Framework.
State Funding Framework 2017 - 2020 for Children and Youth work established a system, which was slightly modified and updated for 2022 - 2023. It is based on the internal Ministerial concept for the support.
The support focuses on regular and long-term actions available for the broadest range of children and young people and on promoting actions and activities which contribute to the improvement, expansion and development activities of various youth organisations and organisations working with children and youth.
The main goals of the programmes are:
- Creation of free time and other selected activities within the membership base of individual NGOs;
- Creation of free time and selected NGOs targeted activities intended for non-organised children and youth;
- Significant international and national events aimed at children and young people;
- Training and education of children and youth;
- Creating conditions for the development of non-formal education;
- Development of volunteerism and volunteer work with children and youth;
- Education of children and youth in other fields (e.g. participation, mutual tolerance, healthy lifestyle);
- International cooperation for children and youth;
- Multicultural education.
Eligible organizations are:
- NGOs recognised by the state for their children and youth work;
- umbrella organisations (national and regional level);
- other NGOs with branch associations (large youth associations).
This main funding programme for general support of Youth Work Activities distributes around 240.000.000 CZK (ca 9.600.000 EUR) a year.
It is accompanied by the Investment Programme no.133710 (Investiční program 133710), intended for developing the material and technical base of extracurricular activities for children and youth (e.g. repairs of the buildings, campsites and purchase of materials with the price exceeding the price of 40.000 CZK). In 2016, the state funding for this programme was ca 25 000 000 CZK (ca 926 000 EUR). For 2020 the allocation was 14 000 000 CZK (ca 560 000 EUR). For 2021 the Ministry launched two calls to allocate 8 700 000 CZK (ca. 345 000 EUR).
Systemic development of Czech-german cooperation in the field of education and youth (for 2021).
The Ministry also launches annual subsidy calls to support the Systemic development of Czech-german cooperation in the field of education and youth. The allocation is 7 000 000 CZK (ca 280 000 EUR).
EU Funding in supporting Youth Work
The Czech Republic is participating fully in the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union and the European Solidarity Corps. The National Agency of the Programme in the Czech Republic is a part of The Centre for International Cooperation in Education (DZS) as a semi-budgetary organisation, established by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport.
EU Structural and Investment Funds
To support the quality of non-formal education within Youth Work, Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports made a Call on Improving the quality of non-formal education (Výzva č. 02_18_071 Zvyšování kvality neformálního vzdělávání) supported by the European Social Fund. The call was intended for the period from 28th February 2019 to 15th April 2020. Overal allocation was 300 000 000 CZK (ca 12 000 000 EUR).
Supported activities were:
- Education of workers in non-formal education
- Sharing the experience of non-formal education workers through mutual visits
- Tandem non-formal education
- Introducing new methods in non-formal education
- Project day in the clubhouse
- Project day outside the clubhouse
- Club in non-formal education
Target groups were:
- Children and pupils participating in non-formal education (children over three years of age, primary and secondary school pupils)
- Workers and volunteers of organisations active in the field of education and non-formal education
- Pedagogical staff
Other supports from the EU funds to projects where youth work activities are included were the following:
Competencies for democratic culture (financial allocation: 162 000 000 CZK) - this activity supports creating and piloting programmes which promote the development of competencies for democratic culture, namely an active involvement of children and young people into decision-making processes.
Implementation of Regional Action Plans (financial allocation: 1 750 000 000 CZK) - supported activities cover the concrete activities which had been set up in the Regional Action Plans in respective regions, especially in the field of linking formal education to non-formal education. The priority is given to innovation of technologies, entrepreneurship and initiatives of pupils and students in the form of networking and sharing examples of good practices.
Local Development Action Plans (financial allocation: 3 000 000 000 CZK) - support is provided for the implementation of activities covered by the Local Action Plans which aim sometimes at linking formal education to non-formal education, linking youth work and social work, facilitating structured dialogue with children and young people and supporting school parliaments.
National Individual project Linking Formal and Non-formal Education, including Leisure-based Education run between 1st September 2018 and 30th August, 2021(registration number: CZ.02.3.68 / 0.0 / 0.0 / 16_032 / 000816; development of capacity building in schools II).
This project was co-financed by the EU of CZK 8,974,544.88. and it provided a system of methodological support based on the functioning of the network of collegiate support centres at regional offices of the National Institute for Further Education, whose professional activities support the exchange of experience in the area of the interconnection of formal and non-formal education. The centres methodically support the cooperation of educators and non-formal education workers (including Leisure-based education), who form educational programs for children and pupils focused on developing their key competencies. An information campaign on the recognition of non-formal learning outcomes accompanied the methodological work.
Other forms of cooperations are rather on a local and regional level due to the nature of the youth work governance structures and the competencies divisions between the state, regions and municipalities.