New publication! Professionalisation of Childcare Assistants in ECEC. Pathways towards Qualification

The ‘invisibility' of the ECEC assistants in research and policy documents contrasts with the share of assistants working in ECEC services, which in some countries can be quite high (40-50% of the workforce). This report from two collaborators of VBJK, written for the European Commission, highlights the important role that assistants play and gives recommendation on how we can valorize their work.

WANDA manual: Group reflection for professional development in ECEC

Just published! The international English version of the WANDA manual that can be used by ECEC professionals in different contexts. Wanda is a method to analyse and reflect on professional practices in a group setting. It is a process in time and, when performed on a regular basis, can support the professional development of practitioners and teams and thus improve practices for the benefit of children, parents and communities.

Order the manual!

WANDA meets ISSA: facilitator's manual in 4 languages

After publishing the English WANDA-manual, we are now proud to present four translations of the manual in Czech, Slovenian, Croatian and Hungarian. These four versions are the result of the two year project 'When WANDA meets ISSA' and have been translated by the four organisations of the ISSA-network that collaborated on the project.

Order the manuals: Czech, Slovenian, Croatian and Hungarian

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Just published! Pathways to Professionalism in Early Childhood Education and Care

Proud to present: Pathways, a collection of in-depth case studies on competent systems and professional development processes in Italy, France, Denmark and ... Belgium! Always on the search for an answer on the question of professionalisation, VBJK collaborated to describe the secrets of the competent ECEC system in the city of Ghent: how does a long-term investment in early childhood institutions in Ghent lead to continuous professional development? Other contributions in this book share the same insight: professionalism in early childhood unfolds best in a ‘competent system'. What can such a competent system look like? What are important elements in a competent system? Among others, you find in this book contributions of our colleagues Jan Peeters, Chris De Kimpe and Michel Vandenbroeck. Pathways is distributed by Routledge. The book is part of the EECERA series ‘Towards an Ethical Praxis in Early Childhood'. Read more

VBJK partner in INTESYS

VBJK is partner in INTESYS, an Erasmus+ project on integrated services in ECEC. The project wants to promote ECEC systems which are better responding to the needs of vulnerable families by working in a more integrated way and closing the gaps between different services (childcare, preschool, family support ...). Through a literature review and pilots in four countries (Italy, Slovenia, Portugal and Belgium) the project will get a better view on how integrated work and offering warm transitions benefits the holistic development of children. More info will follow shortly in a newsletter and website.

Read the newsletter.

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Intensive Seminar - University of Leuven, 11th-13th May

The process-oriented approach to quality, as developed by the Centre for Experiential Education, has received worldwide attention, not the least through its tools for assessment of key variables for quality. After a first successful edition of this seminar, a second edition of this 2,5 day intensive seminar will be organised. Participants with a research interest in ECE will be introduced in the quality framework of Experiential Education with a particular focus on the assessment tools. Training is provided in the use of the instruments focussing on children and on adult-child interactions: the Leuven Well-being and Involvement Scales and the Adult Style Observation Schedule, including the Leuven Empathy Scale. The training will include an assessment of the use of the scales and receipt of a certificate with regard to the mastery of the scales. To support the integration of these tools in on-going scientific work, research designs and results of studies conducted at the Centre will be presented and discussed.

For a detailed programme go to: CEGO Vorming en Consult - Nieuws
For registration, please go to: Pre-registration  Read more

Jan Peeters at the UNICEF Conference in Podgorica

On 27th October 2015, Jan Peeters explained why early childhood education is crucial at the conference ‘Quality, inclusion and innovations - foundations for the future', talked about ‘Raising awareness of parents on the benefits of preschool education' and explained 'Why free quality preschool education benefits everyone and especially the marginalized children'.

Watch video 01, video 02 and video 03!

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VBJK is involved as research partner in the EQUAP project

The EQUAP project is an Erasmus+ project on parent participation in ECEC. As quality in ECEC has gained an increasingly prominent position on European and national policy agendas, the underlying hypotheses that quality is also influenced by the level of parents being involved, is at the basis of this project. The Equap project -Enhancing Quality in ECEC through Participation- looks into the ways how parents are (or should be?) involved and how they can participate in the care and education of their children. Given that they are the first educators, it seems logical to get parents involved in the daily practice of ECEC, but also in developing the vision of the services and feeding into more fundamental debate on how they want their children to be cared for and educated.


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Report published on accessibility and quality of services

VBJK collaborated on a report, published by Eurofound, on accessibility and quality of services. The report describes good practices gathered in the form of case studies that have been evaluated and that describe additional resources for the inclusion in mainstream ECEC services of children with disabilities or learning difficulties, those in a vulnerable social situation and those who belong to disadvantaged groups.

Read the report.

Transatlantic Forum Inclusive Early Years (TFIEY)

TFIEY is a project on ECEC and the challenges for children and families in the context of poverty and migration. This project is coordinated by the Belgian King Baudouin Foundation in partnership with several foundations from Europe and the US. VBJK is the operational partner, together with the Migration Policy Institute in the US, to shape the content of 7 conferences on several current issues in ECEC. The forum brings together researchers, policymakers and practitioners to discuss these issues and exchange knowledge and experiences. The baseline being that all children benefit from high quality ECEC and children in vulnerable situations do even more so. During the Forum Meetings discussions are taking place on the constructive elements of what this required quality means in today's context. Conferences were held in Europe and the US on questions relating to accessibility, workforce, family involvement, evaluation, integrated services and multilingualism. Download the TFIEY brochure. Read more
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