What has the INTESYS consortium achieved? What lies ahead on the journey toward integrated services?
INTESYS - Integrated Services
Are you wondering what Integrated Early Childhood Systems are?
High inequality in accessing and benefiting from early childhood services in Europe further disadvantages the most vulnerable groups: migrant children, Roma children, children with special needs, and children living in poverty. Integrated Systems help practitioners, managers, and policymakers tackle the issue of inequity in ECEC.
Though quality early childhood services can make a remarkable difference for the most disadvantaged groups, their contribution is even stronger when well-coordinated across sectors and age groups. The INTESYS project piloted new approaches to allow early childhood services across sectors to align and work in tandem, especially for the benefit of marginalized children.
What did we aim to achieve?
By involving professionals from different sectors and levels of governance, across children’s age groups, project partners looked to ensure a holistic approach to address the multiple and diverse needs of young children and their families. Integrated Systems can reduce disparities in learning outcomes for vulnerable children.
How did we achieve this?
INTESYS was a 3-year, Forward Looking Cooperation Project co-funded by the European Commission's Erasmus+ Programme and managed by King Baudouin Foundation. ISSA provided quality assurance for reports and products created under the INTESYS project, as well as for meetings in the consortium.
In 2017, ISSA led the finalization of the draft version of the INTESYS Toolkit - Towards Integrated Early Childhood Education and Care Systems – Building the Foundations. This Toolkit was tested within the pilot phase of the project. It has also been adapted by partners to specific pilot contexts in Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, and Portugal.
The Toolkit provides a common ground for the four countries in the project to work towards fostering integration within the early childhood education and care system. It acted as an inspiring and versatile resource for partners and supported their activities while being responsive to specific country and local contexts.
Experts on INTESYS
Petra Bozovičar from one of the partners in the project, the Step by Step Center for Quality in Education in Slovenia, says: 'It is important to establish a culture of cooperation between different experts from different institutions: to provide an opportunity to sit together at the same table; to get to know each other; to exchange information about each institution's work, their principles, successes and challenges; to align the principles that lead their work.'
Vera Bispo, pre-school teacher at Associação Tempo de Mudar: 'I feel lucky to have been able to participate.'
INTESYS focused on piloting the journey toward integration in four different early childhood systems in Europe.
Ahead of the INTESYS Consortium's closing conference in April, the INTESYS consortium is releasing some highlights from their evaluation.
The INTESYS approach makes services more responsive to real-world situations. ‘The INTESYS project enables us to highlight the processes that lead to joint, early