Stronger Together: ISSA members coordinate action on European Quality Framework
18 November 2016 – ISSA’s Peer Learning Activities (PLAs) are an instrument of change and a vehicle for sharing best practices among the membership. This week in Amsterdam, organizations from five countries met to strategize on how to introduce the European Quality Framework (EQF) for Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in their own countries. “We are all here to get ideas that can be brought home and be used to either set a network, stimulate mentorship or just reflect on similarities and differences”, said Anke van Keulen, Bureau MUTANT Director, who co-led the PLA. Last year, Bureau MUTANT (NL) together with the Centre for Innovation in the Early Years – VBJK (BE) and ISSA developed a tool for early childhood training providers called “5 Steps to Quality”, which is based on the European Quality Framework (EQF). The training was introduced to schools and civil society organizations in Belgium and the Netherlands. The EQF for ECEC is an important policy document that sets standards and guidelines for improving quality ECEC in all EU member states. The document is the result of research done in 30 countries, to which different stakeholders, including ISSA, gave feedback. The training package “5 Steps to Quality” supports building and improving quality in ECEC at country and organizational level. It focuses on the five quality elements in the EQF (accessibility, workforce, curriculum, monitoring and evaluation, finance and governance). The aim of the workshop was to link these five quality elements with the context and laws of each of the participant’s countries. All the participant have committed to keep working together until the training is widespread in each of their countries. During this three-day workshop, members from Bulgaria, Moldova, Montenegro, Macedonia and Slovenia developed an action plan to introduce the training package in their own countries. “PLAs become small learning communities; people from different countries start working together and can easily continue this collaboration in the future” said Ana del Barrio, Trainer and Consultant who co-lead the PLA.