The toolkit Towards Integrated Early Childhood Education and Care Systems – Building the Foundations was developed under the INTESYS project (Together: Supporting vulnerable children through integrated early childhood services) funded through the Erasmus+ Programme. INTESYS aims to advance the policies and practices in early childhood services towards more and better integration in early childhood education and care (ECEC) systems across Europe. The intention is to provide opportunities, especially for children and families from vulnerable groups, to benefit from high quality early childhood services.
The main purpose of the Toolkit is to facilitate the process of integration of different services and sectors, using the different early childhood services as an entry point for integration. It is meant to guide the path of various actors towards higher level of integration, while keeping in mind that the entire system (from macro policy to financing and front line quality delivery with qualified practitioners) has to work primarily for the benefit of every young child and their family. The presented approach builds on an extensive literature review and takes into account the participation of communities, parents and civil society actors in shaping the integration of services through dialogue. An innovative aspect introduced in the toolkit is the Reference Framework for Integration in ECEC systems, which includes three set of key elements that impact the process of integration: Values and Principles, Key Factors and Quality Practices