1. Mapping the state of integration of ECEC provision in EU Member (and candidate) States regarding their workforce policies, practices, tools, actors, leaders, key success factors, barrier and identification of good practices and gaps (policies, tools, practices etc.) with a special focus on governance, the workforce and delivery to vulnerable groups. Mapping the state of integration of services on the local level where the pilots in the project will be carried out.
2. Developing of the Toolkit Towards an Integrated ECEC System - Building the Foundations - to be used in the pilot implementation phase.
3. Planning and implementation of pilot testing of the tools
- Roundtables with relevant stakeholders and partners on the local, regional and national level focusing on: the importance of an integrated approach in ECEC Systems; the key role of front line actors’ professionalism and cooperation in delivering quality services and in addressing holistically children’s and families’ needs; the need for creating a culture of cooperation amongst decision makers at different levels and mechanisms for bridging services for meeting the specific needs of children and families, especially the most vulnerable ones;
- Awareness raising workshops with practitioners, service managers and local governance representatives focusing on the importance of addressing holistically child’s and families’ needs, especially those coming from vulnerable groups, gaps and overlaps in service delivery and ways to overcome discontinuity, lack of consistency. The toolkit will be used for creating a common ground for discussions.
- Training workshops with multi-disciplinary groups (practitioners from different sectors) and mentoring activities with professionals and para-professionals from different sectors and using the toolkit developed in the project and other relevant local resources supporting professionalism and cooperation between actors, as well as self-reflection;
- Setting up Professional Learning Communities (PLC) with: Practitioners from different sectors, managers and local governance stakeholders. PLC will encourage group-reflection and discuss different issues identified in the mapping and addressed through the workshops, trainings and mentoring by using the proposed toolkit, and will look for finding ways to nurture cross-sectoral support and transfer of knowledge and experiences. PLC will explore opportunities for building on the positive experiences, overcoming barriers with insights regarding possible policy changes required.
4. Evaluation of the project’s approach, collecting evidence from each country regarding the relevance of the approach, tools and activities for achieving higher level of integration amongst ECEC services and various levels of governance by building a shared understanding amongst different stakeholders and by strengthening their capacity to address holistically the children and families’ needs.
5. Dissemination on the activities and results of the project
- Different stakeholders (local decision-makers and service providers, national policy makers, European policy makers, members of European ECEC networks, etc.) are regularly informed about the innovative approaches and processes being tested as well as the products and outcomes of the project, using newsletters, online tools, events and policy leaflets.
- The results/outcomes/findings and recommendations are disseminated for further exploitation at European level through a European event/conference convened by the European Foundations in the end of the project - the learning from local, regional or national level will be shared across the partner organisations and their stakeholders and beyond within and between Member States and with the EU Institutions and will inform further EU Policy making.
In the long-run it is hoped that these activities will promote ECEC systems which are responsive to and inclusive of vulnerable children and their families due to better integration of services and a more holistic and child and family-centred approach which should lead ultimately to improved educational attainment of children from vulnerable, disadvantaged and marginalized groups who have benefitted from more holistic, integrated and responsive ECEC services and systems.