Date: 13-08-2018

NEWS – INTESYS: How can we accomplish more together? – Part 5


Integrated systems is a complex term; don’t let the name put you off. Integrating early childhood systems helps reduce disparities in learning outcomes for vulnerable children and help professionals meet the diverse needs of children and families. They help practitioners, managers and policymakers accomplish more – together.

Though we know the benefits of integrating early childhood systems, it can be difficult to motivate systems to change. So, we asked the experts to explain the critical factors that motivate different early childhood organizations and services to work together.

'It helped us to listen to each other,' says Maria Assunção Folque of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Portugal, 'and I think the key factor relies in the design of the structure and organization of the Portuguese pilot.'

'We have two groups whose work is complementing: the Local Partner Group (LPG), piloting the INTESYS approach and the Toolkit guiding the integration journey; and the Local Steering Board, providing technical support throughout the pilot. These two groups incorporate professionals and representatives of various sectors - education, health, social area, representatives of families, municipalities, etc. - at various levels of governance with national and local services’ representation. I believe this has actually helped us listen to each other, understand different perspectives, solve problems together and then start the journey for the integration of services. Obviously the structure/organization is not enough. We need people’s engagement and work in the project. But I think that this multi-sector approach has really contributed to shape the integration journey.'

Still not sure what Integrated Systems for early childhood services are? Be sure to brush-up on what the term means through our series of INTESYS interviews.

Download the INTESYS Toolkit here!