Involvement of the Roger Federer Foundation

The Roger Federer Foundation supports the early childhood development programme ping:pong by the a:primo association for disadvantaged children in Switzerland. The new and innovative programme strengthens the important transition to kindergarten through moderated parent meetings. Socially disadvantaged parents receive suggestions and knowledge on how to support their children playfully at home and how to actively support them throughout education. They get to know the local education system and build trust in the educational institution. ping:pong builds a bridge between the worlds in which the child interacts. Together, parents and experts are committed to ensuring that the child has a good start in kindergarten and thus also give children from families with lower education a fair chance of education and social participation.

The Roger Federer Foundation’s goal is to establish 26 new ping:pong facilities to help disadvantaged families and children. Our support is in the amount of CHF 235,000. At least 50% of the new sites will be recruited in French-speaking Switzerland and Ticino. The municipalities are expected to participate by 60%. ping:pong is a secondary prevention programme, meaning it is provided in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. The programme is open to all families, but the aim is to encourage socially disadvantaged families in particular to participate. The impact goals of ping:pong are on three different levels:

  • At the child-level: During the parents' meetings, the parents receive suggestions for playing and learning, which they can apply together with the child at home. The child's learning environment is stimulated and enriched so that the child can learn through play and research. The more stimulating the environment is, and the better the interaction between school and parents can make the children feel safe and master the formal educational path better.
  • At the parental level: Parental competencies are strengthened. Parents build trust in the school system. During the parents' meetings, the parents deal with developmental behaviour and come into contact with other parents. Transparency and contacts give parents security.
  • At the kindergarten level: The teacher reaches socially disadvantaged families even before they enter kindergarten. This can lead to the building of trust at an early stage and provide a good basis for cooperation with the parents. They expand their knowledge and experience in the field of parental education.

Our Implementing Partner

Ping:pong was developed by a:primo, an association aiming at supporting the early promotion of socially disadvantaged pre-school children in Switzerland and in the Principality of Liechtenstein on a charitable and sustainable basis. The reason for establishing the association in 2006 was the introduction of the Dutch programme "Opstapje" in Switzerland. Socially and economically disadvantaged families often lack of competences and resources to provide their children with the basic requirements to sucessfully participate in the educational system. This is where Opstapje starts to play. a:primo has adapted the programme to the Swiss context and offers the implementation to bodies in cities as well as municipalities within the whole of Switzerland. a:primo received the Best Practise Award of the Jacobs Foundation in 2010 for its innovative approach.


Facts Switzerland

8 Mio
Compulsory education
6-15 years
Enrolment ratio
Functional illiteracy rate
0% of children under 5 are undernourished