START- Sustaining Warm and Inclusive Transitions across the Early Years. Final report with implications for policies and practices
Transitions across the home environment, early childhood education and care (ECEC) settings and compulsory school education (CSE) mark significant changes in the life of children and their families and communities. Positive experiences of transition between educational levels can be a critical factor for children’s future success and development, while negative experiences can have lasting challenges leading to poorer educational performance, especially for more disadvantaged children. Adopting a more unified approach to caring and learning (educare) across educational settings in order to sustain continuity of children’s experiences over time, can significantly improve children’s educational achievement and socio-emotional development. In turn promoting inter-institutional professional learning communities of ECEC and primary school staff as well as involving parents in the transition process are considered to be key factors in ensuring successful transitions. Taking these crucial elements into account, practitioners and researchers from four different countries have collaborated in a transnational action-research study (START/Erasmus +) in order to foster warm and inclusive transitions across the early years. This final report will discuss the challenges of the lack of well thought out transitional practices on children and families, how this problem can be addressed and what the implications are for policies and practices in the EU and its member states (EU MS).