NEWS - Achievements of the INTESYS Consortium and Pathways Forward
INTESYS piloted new approaches to early childhood systems in Europe for ensuring that children and families in vulnerable situations benefit of high-quality early childhood services through integrated work across different sectors (education, health, welfare, etc.) and professions, across different age groups and governance levels. Find more information on the final products of the project below.
The INTESYS Toolkit is an innovative resource which has been developed based on a literature review and European survey carried out at the beginning of the project. The toolkit proposes a Reference Framework for Integration in Early Childhood Systems and a journey towards integration accompanied by guiding questions, tools, recommendations and tips resulting from the pilots carried out in Belgium, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia.
This resource lays the foundation for strengthening integration in early childhood systems. It is an inspiring and versatile resource that can be easily adapted to various contexts across and within countries around the world.
You can access the full Toolkit here.
The evaluation of INTESYS looked at both the processes and outcomes of all activities carried out in the project. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected to measure the value to the index of integration at the beginning and at the end of the project. The number and profile of the early childhood services and partners involved in the local network, their role as well as the strength and duration of their collaboration were among the variables that were researched. A significant increase in the value of the index of integration in all pilots was noted.
In terms of ‘beneficiaries’, at the end of the project, despite some difficulties, professionals and different stakeholders have recognized an increased collaboration and coordination among early childhood services across sectors, and an improvement of their knowledge and practices due to the cross-sectoral professional development activities, networking and coordination meetings facilitated in different pilots. Parents also indicated that they witnessed a more child and family-centered approach from services.
An overall Outcome Evaluation Report has been compiled for the INTESYS project as well as Country Outcome Reports for each pilot. Read more from the Evaluation Reports here.
The lessons learned from pilot interventions in Belgium, Italy, Portugal, and Slovenia highly contributed to shaping cross-country and in-country policy recommendations for strengthening integration in the early childhood systems. Theory and practice solidly blended into several rationales for integration that were translated into 17 recommendations at local, national and European level.
Read Policy Recommendations here.
The INTESYS closing conference, Strengthening integration within early childhood systems – why and how?, presented a unique opportunity to learn more about the project and project results. The occasion brought together European and national policy makers and program implementers to discuss about the rationale for strengthening integration in the early childhood systems and about ways in which it can be achieved.
Two panels nurtured the learning during the conference. The panels provided insights from the policy and practice perspective into critical changes that are needed at local, country and European level for enabling the integrated working across sectors, services and levels of governance. Mindset, political will and support and funding were among the key words.
Representatives from the pilots took part in a Representatives from the pilots took part in a panel on lessons learned from INTESYS. Panelists included:
Liesbeth Lambert (VBJK)
Mateja Režek (Step by Step Center for Quality in Education – Pedagogical Institute),
Marzia Sica (Compagnia di San Paolo)
Alexandra Marques (Aga Khan Foundation)
The second panel discussion on policy recommendations included policymakers at the national and European level. The panelists were:
Katrien Verhegge, Governmental Agency Kind en Gezin, Belgium
Emanuela Rossini, Member of the Italian Parliament, Commission for Policy of the European Union
Stanko Baluh, The Office for National Minorities of the Republic of Slovenia
Geraldine Libreau, Early Childhood Education and Care, Directorate General Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, European Commission
Filipe Almeida, Portugal Social Innovation