Project summary

Project summary

In line with the EU strategies for 2020 and the need for a systemic and integrated approach to Early Childhood education and Care (ECEC), the project identifies key issues and questions for which effective policy measures and instruments should be developed. They concern

  1. assessing the impact of ECEC
  2. optimizing quality and curricula for ECEC to increase effectiveness
  3. raising the professional competencies of staff
  4. monitoring and assuring quality of ECEC
  5. increasing the inclusiveness of ECEC, in particular for socioeconomically disadvantaged children
  6. funding of ECEC
  7. the need for innovative European indicators of children’s wellbeing.

The project will address these issues in an integrative way by combining state-of-the-art knowledge of factors determining personal, social and economic benefits of ECEC with knowledge of the mechanisms
determining access to and use of ECEC.

In developing a European knowledge base for ECEC, we will add to the existing knowledge in two ways. We will

  • include recent and ongoing ECEC research from several European countries.
  • include the perspectives of important stakeholders and integrate cultural beliefs and values.

The central aim is to develop an evidence-based and culture-sensitive framework of

  • Developmental goals, quality assessment, curriculum approaches and policy measures for improving the quality and effectiveness of ECEC
  • Effective strategies of organizing, funding and governing ECEC that increase the impact of ECEC.

Our interdisciplinary research team will construct this framework, based on the competencies and skills that young children need to develop in current societies, identify the conditions that have to be fulfilled to promote child development and wellbeing, and identify strategies and policy measures that support access to high quality provisions, and likely to receive broad support of stakeholders, thereby enhancing the impact of ECEC.