I like it here, it feels like a second home’

The role of ECEC spaces in joining education and care 

When: Thursday, December 10th │10:00 - 11:30 CET                                                                                                                                                             

Description:                                                                                                                        Register here                                                            

How can an ECEC space be warm and welcoming? How can we foresee a ‘space’ (physically and mentally/emotionally) also for families? How can we listen to children’s voices? How can we join learning and playing? How can we value the educational identity of the sleeping, eating, hygiene moments? And what does all this mean today, in the COVID-19 pandemic situation?  

During the interactive session, partners from the EDUCAS Project from Belgium, Italy and Lithuania will share lessons learned and insights concerning the role of ECEC (Early Childhood Education and Care) spaces in promoting an ‘educare’ approach (education and care as intertwined). The EDUCAS project aims to create ECEC environments that holistically support children’s development, taking into account the diverse perspectives of people involved in the process (children, parents, and professionals). 

The partners from the three countries involved will engage in small groups and whole group discussions with participants on these themes. You will learn the different meanings that ‘space’ can have for children, families, practitioners/teachers, and how we can support ECEC staff in reflecting on their practice in order to promote an educare approach in the organization of their ECEC environments.  

We will use a wide range of visuals and illustrations from the practice during the session to trigger the discussions. Join us to create together a welcoming, cozy, and inspiring space! 



 Caroline Boudry, VBJK Center for Innovation in the Early Years (Belgium)
Caroline has been working at VBJK for many years as pedagogical coach, supporting team reflection processes focused on diversity, inclusion, social function, parent participation, transition, pedagogical action and pedagogical documentation. Caroline is committed to change, renewal and deepening, which always leads to an improvement in the quality of all possible basic facilities for young children. She also created several movies and training materials for ECEC centers about these themes. Together with Nima Sharmahd, Caroline coordinates the EDUCAS project. 


Nima Sharmahd, VBJK, Center for Innovation in the Early Years (BE), University of Liège (BE), University of Florence (IT)Nima is Senior Researcher at VBJK (Center for Innovation in the Early Years) in Ghent (Belgium).
She works on international research and projects about ECEC, with a focus on professional development, accessibility, inclusion, family participation, pedagogical documentation. She also collaborates with the Department of Education and Psychology of the University of Liège (Belgium), and with the Department of Education and Psychology of the University of Florence (IT), where she did her Ph.D on the relationship practitioners/families in ECEC centers. She worked for several years in Italy (University of Florence) as researcher and pedagogical coordinator of different ECEC services. Together with Caroline Boudry, Nima coordinates the EDUCAS project. 


Sara Berti, UNIPR Department of Humanities, Social Sciences and Cultural Industries of the University of Parma (Italy)
Sara Berti completed a master degree in Psychology at the University of Parma (Italy) and a bachelor’s degree in Architecture at the University of Florence (Italy). She is now a PhD student in Psychology at the University of Parma, in collaboration with VBJK Center for Innovation in the Early Years (Belgium). Her PhD project aims to investigate adults’ and children’s psychological meanings of space in ECEC centers, taking into account the point of view of families, teachers, assistants, directors and children. In EDUCAS project Sara explored in particular the point of children on their ECEC spaces.   


Regina Sabaliauskiene, Director of the Center for Innovative Education in Lithuania. Regina has more than 20 years of experience as international trainer and consultant. Her main areas of expertise are teacher professional development, with special focus on quality and inclusive education. She contributed to the development of the ISSA Quality Resource pack.  



Austėja Landsbergienė, Ph.D. Founder of a private chain of pre-schools "Vaikystės sodas" and Queen Morta school, accreditation team member for the Council of International Schools, educational consultant to the Lithuanian State.






Roberta Plekavičienė, Dubysos aukstupio school special educator (speech therapist), representative of EDUCAS project in the institution.  






Zorica Trikic
Zorica is Senior Program Manager in ISSA. As Sr. Program Manager, she is active in different ISSA initiatives, including Early Childhood Workforce Initiative, REYN, Embracing Diversity, Supporting Families for Nurturing Care, Children on the Move, etc. As a program and project manager, trainer, and NGO activist, she has more than 30 years of experience, with an intense focus on supporting synchronized and strategic efforts in programmatic, organizational, and political management to address systemic oppression, discrimination, and exclusion in early childhood systems. She is a passionate professional and advocates for more justice and inclusive environments for the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children, families, and communities. She believes in educators as agents of change and she is co-author of different manuals, guidebooks, and programs supporting continuous professional development, including ISSA’s Quality Resource Pack and Embracing Diversity Programs.



Register ISSA Connects Week sessions.

Back to the ISSA Week page.