How do you create Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) environments that support children’s development in a holistic way, taking into account the diverse needs of children and families, with special attention to the ones at risk of social exclusion? The aim of the EDUCAS project is to do just that – create child and family friendly learning spaces in ECEC centers.

Who is involved?

VBJK (ISSA Member) of Belgium is coordinator of this international project. Two research centers also join the project, University of Parma in Italy and Center for Innovative Education (ISSA Member) in Lithuania. ISSA contributes to the project with its vast network for dissemination activities and two ECEC centers in each country (Belgium, Italy, Lithuania) work alongside researchers to re-think ECEC spaces within an educare approach. 

What is the aim?

The project’s overall goal is to create ECEC environments that support children’s development in a holistic way, taking into account the diverse needs of children and families, with special attention to the ones at risk of social exclusion.

How does EDUCAS do this?

After a thorough examination of existing visions and methods related to organizing ECEC environments, this three-year project will create locally developed Continuous Professional Development paths that are tailored to the contexts in which the six ECEC centers are working. The project aims to improve the organization of these ECEC centers’ space and materials within the educare approach.

The methods used, as well as the experiences identified during this project will be used to develop a Training Kit (see below) and Recommendations for policy and practice that are relevant for both the local and EU levels.

EDUCAS Toolbox

Pedagogical approaches, methods and tools used during the project to support professionals in improving ECEC environments with an educare approach will be published soon. Sign up here to receive your copy when available.

EDUCAS Toolbox aims to support coordinators, coaches, trainers, professionals that seek to stimulate professional development paths with ECEC staff with the aim to create child and friendly learning spaces in ECEC centres. 

EDUCAS project - Closing event
Wonder and beauty: educare in ECEC spaces

In an interactive format and small groups discussions, the two-hours online session held on 22 June 2021 presented EDUCAS project outcomes, and in particular how project partners succeeded in creating warm and inclusive environments.

Details of the event and video recordings can found here.



This project is funded by the Erasmus+ program, K2


Photo: © VBJK - Caroline Boudry




EDUCAS project has been an opportunity for the Italian ECEC centers, led by the University of Parma, to reflect on the space in which welcoming moments are now taking place: the entrance door.

This article shares how in practice professionals from the Aukštelkės mokykla-daugiafunkcis centras in Lithuania are changing the way they communicate with the parents.

Within the EDUCAS project, VBJK, de Tandem and Hippo’s Hof, have put in practice two methods related to organizing ECEC environments within an ‘educare’ approach. 

EDUCAS project was presented to a broad international audience during the ISSA Connects Week in December 2020. 


Belgium, Lithuania, Italy, ECEC, early childhood development, early childhood policy, family, professional development, social inclusion, holistic approach, inclusive practice, vulnerable groups
The EDUCAS project planned to start the Continuous Professional Development Paths (CPD) in the three countries involved (Belgium, Lithuania, Italy) with specific focus groups involving families and staff in the ECEC centers partners of the project. The aim of the focus groups has been: 1) gaining...
EDUCAS project
VBJK, Center for Innovative Education in Lithuania, University of Parma
Belgium, Lithuania and Italy
Nima Sharmahd,
Belgium, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, early childhood development
This literature review, written under the EDUCAS project, investigates the meanings, relevance, and importance of physical indoor and outdoor space in early childhood education and care (ECEC) services for children from birth to school age. Authors map, synthesize and critically analyze the...

Project Partners