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

Nursery ‘Tierlantuin’ wins the Evens Prize for Peace Education 2015

The jury has selected the winner unanimously from a shortlist of 14 projects from all over Europe. The award goes to the Ghent nursery Tierlantuin. The independent jury of international experts was particularly impressed by the nursery's visibility and accessibility within the neighbourhood, the strong parental and community involvement, and the ongoing and natural integration of diversity (working in various languages, diversity of personnel, etc.).
In this edition of the biannual European prize, the Evens Foundation looked for initiatives and practices that stimulate and strengthen the social skills of children under six years old. According to members of the jury, the implicit, integrated approach adopted by Tierlantuin is exactly what is needed to encourage the development of social skills among babies and toddlers.
The nursery will receive a cash award of €25,000, of which some is to be used to share their vision and good practices with colleagues in other European countries. Read more

Watch the presentations! Conference: Childcare and preschool in a European perspective (May 12th 2015)

In 2011, the European Commission assembled a working group of representatives from 25 European member states to create a European Quality Framework for ECEC. At the conference, we debated about this European Quality Framework as well as more recent evolutions in childcare and preschool.

Watch the videos:

  • dr. Jan Peeters & Ankie Vandekerckhove: Introduction
  • dr. Nora Milotay: The European Quality Framework 
  • dr. Arianna Lazzari: Scientific evidence for the EQF
  • Download the Powerpoint presentations:

  • Scientific evidence for the EQF (dr. Arianna Lazzari) 
  • The European Quality Framework (dr. Nora Milotay)
  • Dutch speaking visitors can also view two presentations of European ECEC researches:

  • Brecht Peleman: Systematisch onderzoek Eurofound
  • dr. Hester Hulpia: Wat is een warme overgang?
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    Systematic literature review on Continuous Professional Development (CPD) (2013-2015)

    VBJK was the promoter of a research commissioned by Eurofound entitled Early Childhood Care: working conditions, training and quality of services - A systematic review. The topic of this systematic review is the impact of professional development opportunities on the quality of services with a particular focus on the outcomes of children and staff child interaction. By adopting the systematic review methodology elaborated by the EPPI-Centre of the London Institute of Education, the study systematically examines the findings of national and international research on ECEC quality, staff working conditions and of interventions of professional development in order to gather policy-relevant information that could support decision makers in prioritising public spending in times of austerity.

    Read the Systematic Review: Early childhood care: working conditions, training and quality of services - A systematic review.

    Read the Executive summary: Early childhood care: working conditions, training and quality of services - A systematic review - Executive summary. The Executive Summary has been translated in every language of the EU.

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