START Project on Supporting Educational Transitions Presents Results
Nine universities and research or training organizations in cooperation with educational institutions were involved in the START project with ISSA being an associate partner of it.
The project members came from Slovenia, Italy, Belgium and the United Kingdom of Great Britain. Beginning in September 2016 and lasting until April 2019, the START project aimed at improving practices for supporting children and families facing the transitions from one educational setting to another, starting from childcare, through kindergarten and to primary school, and from one context to another, e.g. from home environment, Roma community to formal settings. Greater attention to activities of soft transition was especially important for children and families from vulnerable groups.
In each project’s pilot, a research institution worked with preschool or school on developing innovative approaches, methodologies and tools for facilitating children’s transitions across home, early childhood education and care (ECEC) services and school institutions in their environment. Based on this work, four case studies were developed. These case studies present the situation, needs and activities conducted within the project. A literature review on the topic of transition that also prepared within the project, critically analyses the findings of existing studies on transitions across different services within ECEC split systems and between ECEC and compulsory school education institutions.
Based on the experience of the START project, final report with implications for policy and practice and training toolkit were created. The report will be of interest for decision and policy makers since it outlines the challenges of the lack of well-thought-out transitional practices and how this problem can be addressed. The toolkit reflects the tools, methods, strategies and practices that were used in four pilots and can be used as inspiration for professionals who want to increase engagement with families and children for improving transition.