The TOY for Inclusion consortium’s Monitoring and Evaluation report evaluates the impact of TOY for Inclusion’s Play Hubs from February to December 2021 and highlights the successes of this innovative approach and challenges that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic.
UNICEF’s vision for integrated, multilevel programming moves beyond approaching parents as recipients of information or education, to a more collaborative partnership where there is a co-construction of support for the child as well as for/with the parents themselves.
Key features include:
1) moving towards strengths-based rather than “deficit-focused” approaches;
2) employing a life course lens;
3) meeting systems where they are and elevating parenting support in existing platforms;
4) explicit articulation of gender-responsive and disability-inclusive approaches;
5) focus on culturally responsive community engagement and empowerment, and promoting enabling environments to support parents and caregivers.
The Toolkit for inclusion in ECEC recalls political commitments made e.g. in the European Pillar of Social Rights, policy recommendations which have been adopted by EU Member States as well as research findings. They all converge towards the need and will to develop more inclusive ECEC systems and settings.
To ensure equity for all children in accessing and benefitting from ECEC, the toolkit includes a set of practical solutions and measures to inspire ECEC policy makers at the national, regional or local level, as well as ECEC practitioners. It includes examples of good practice in ECEC settings and identifies useful ideas and resources to inspire leaders and staff across Europe to progress towards practice that is more inclusive. The toolkit aims to inspire decision-makers to use the examples of good practice to create appropriate conditions that can benefit all children and families.
This report focuses on recruitment and retention of ECEC staff, and examines the best ways to educate and train this staff, both through initial training and continuing professional development. It welcomes the fact that the vast majority of ECEC staff enjoy working with young children and know they make a very important contribution to children’s lives. However the sector is expanding, the expectations on staff are growing, and there are increasing opportunities to work with young children in a wider range of occupations. In this context, the report looks at how the ECEC sector can review its own practice and arrangements to ensure it attracts a sufficient number of well qualified and well-motivated staff. This report summarises the available research and looks at many of the approaches which have been used to strengthen national, regional or local practice.
The report also recognises that the quality of ECEC provision is highly dependent on the professionalism, competence and commitment of staff working in the sector – and it is therefore increasingly important that there is continued support for staff training and development. This report therefore proposes a set of core competences for ECEC assistants, core practitioners and ECEC leaders. In addition, it looks at the wide range of practices which are currently being used to strengthen the initial and continuing education and training of ECEC staff.
This rapid review takes stock of emerging research on nurturing care for young children during the COVID-19 crisis. This review synthesizes 112 scholarly and scientific studies that have examined three pillars of nurturing care during the pandemic: responsive caregiving, early learning and play, and children’s safety and security.
This Case Study Report, prepared in partnership with World Health Organization (WHO) and the LEGO Foundation, describes the implementation experiences and emerging lessons of COVID-19 response strategies of seven programmes that prioritize nurturing care and early childhood development (ECD) in their work.
This five-country wide round of research into the situation of Roma children in state care marks the latest in a decade-long series of interventions by the European Roma Rights Centre. The research covers four EU Member States: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Romania, and Slovakia, as well as neighbouring Moldova. As was mentioned in the introduction, the plight of these most vulnerable children, and the issue of their fundamental rights and wellbeing, did not register as a priority when the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies was launched in 2011.
The publication of this research followed the launch of the European Commission’s EU Roma strategic framework for equality, inclusion and participation for 2020–2030. It also coincided with the finding by the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) in November 2020, that holds the Czech Republic responsible for large-scale and discriminatory placement of children with disabilities and Romani children in early childhood care institutions.