webinar promoted by the European Comission – DG Education, Youth, Sport and Culture on Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in Europe: reinforcing the continuous professional development of ECEC staff, on Monday 13 September – 14.00-16.00.

This webinar follows upon the launch event with Commissioner Gabriel on 3 March and the presentation of the results of the work of the ET2020 Working Group on ECEC, namely guidelines on How to recruit, train and motivate well-qualified ECEC staff and a Toolkit for inclusive ECEC.  

This webinar will discuss national and local strategies and working methods to further professionalise ECEC staff in Europe. It will include presentations of strategies from France, Norway, Italy and Sweden, as well as the findings of the NESET report ‘Transforming European ECEC services and Primary schools into professional learning communities: Drivers, barriers and ways forwardpresentation and the Erasmus+ KA3 project VALUE.

Stakeholders and colleagues are encouraged to ask their questions during the live event.

More information:  Early childhood education and care in Europe: Reinforcing the continuous professional development (CPD) of ECEC staff | Education and Training (europa.eu)


Podcast Naar een slimme inzet van kinderverzorgers in de kleuterklas

This podcast (Dutch) talks about the current situation and problems in relation to the position of assisting practitioners and the education and care divide in the pre-primary school in Flanders. The podcast tells the story of two assisting practitioners and the pilotschool in Antwerp (Maria Boodschap): what are the challenges the assisting practitioners currently experience? Why an integrated approach of care and learning is needed? And how to realize a collaborative approach? What was the impact of the VALUE CPD path on their pedagogical practice? What actions are needed on a policy level to facilitate a collaborative approach and strengthen the position of assisting practitioners?
Click here to listen to the podcast.

VALUE-recommendations for policy and practice: media campaign

In February 2021 a media campaign was done (making use of the podcast) in order to launch the public debate about the professionalisation of assisting practitioners in ECEC and the need for a collaborative model based on educare in ECEC in Flanders. Six recommended actions for policy and practice to enhance professionalisation and collaboration in ECEC were launched, with the support of various key stakeholders. The media campaign was very successful: the VALUE-recommendations were widely shared and a newspaper article on the VALUE project was published in De Standaard (one of the leading newspapers in Flanders). As a result, on 4 march 2021 the Commission for Education (Commissie voor Onderwijs) of the Flemish Parliament discussed the VALUE-recommendations with the Flemish Minister for Education.

Workshop on VALUE ROADMAP for trainers

On 6 May 2021 VBJK and EhB did an online workshop on the VALUE ROADMAP and the six anchor points to enhance professionalisation of childcare workers in preschool education. 20 trainers working in preservice and in-service training institutes for (future) ECEC professionals participated in the workshop.


Podcast Demokrati og læringsfællesskaber i dagtilbud: at give praksis en stemme

This podcast (Danish) gives practice a voice and inspires practitioners, educational institutions and policy to improve continuous professional development in the Danish ECEC context based on the results of the VALUE project. Two managers, one core practitioner and one assisting practitioner talk with podcast host Jens Renner about their work and experiences with VALUE in terms of enhanced professional identity, the work with a holistic educare approach and collaboration among all participants. Besides, Bente Jensen (DPU/AU) talks about the projects’ background and findings.
Click here to listen to the podcast.

Articles on the VALUE project

Plechinger, D. (2020, 18 May). Samarbejdet styrker arbejdet med diversitet. Retrieved from: https://nvl.org/content/samarbejde-styrker-arbejdet-med-diversitet.

Schmidt, M. (2020). Diversitet i dagtilbud. Faglbadet FOA, 3, 24 – 39. Article on the VALUE project with interview of Bente Jenssen, see http://www.e-pages.dk/foa/657/

Nørby, J. (2020). Hvem tager børnene, når jeg er på efter-uddannelse? Fag Bladet Børn og Unge, 5, 15-23. Article on professional development for ECEC staff with interview of Bente Jensen on the VALUE project, see https://www.epaper.dk/buplforbund/boernogunge/2020/052020/

Van der Mespel, S. (2021). Meer kinderbegeleiders in de kleuterklas, hoera? 6 ankerpunten voor een doordachte inzet van kinderbegeleiders op school . KIDDO, 3, 31-33.


Discussing VALUE’s Roadmap

VALUE seminar in Portugal


Com o intuito de criar um novo encontro entre os participantes dos dois projetos-piloto portugueses, a Fundação Aga Khan (AKF) e a Escola Superior de Santarém (ESES) dinamizaram um evento online no próximo dia 08 maio, às 10h30. Após a conclusão do projeto VALUE – Valorizar a diversidade nos cuidados e na educação, em agosto de 2020, será agora o momento de apresentar o trabalho desenvolvido no contínuo, numa perspetiva de consolidação e sustentabilidade, pelos dois grupos de assistentes e respetivas lideranças da APISAL – Associação Pró-Infância Santo António de Lisboa e da Escola Básica São Domingos – Agrupamento de Escolas Alexandre Herculano, em Santarém. Na sessão houve ainda um momento de partilha dos materiais construídos, nomeadamente o Roteiro VALUE. Este documento pretende inspirar os leitores a fortalecerem a colaboração entre os educadores de infância e os assistentes que trabalham em instituições de educação de infância, e assenta na conceção de que a diversidade e as múltiplas perspetivas que existem numa equipa tornam-se um recurso que potencia uma abordagem integrada de educação e cuidados (educare).


With the purpose of creating a new encounter between the participants of the two Portuguese pilot projects, the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and the Superior School of Education of Santarém (ESES) is promoting an online event next May 8, at 10:30 am. After concluding the VALUE Project – Valuing diversity in care and education in August 2020, it is now time to present the continuous work aiming at consolidation and sustainability of CPD processes, developed by the two pilot groups of core and assisting practitioners and respective leaders of APISAL (Santo António de Lisboa Pro-Childhood Association), in Lisbon, and São Domingos Primary School of Alexandre Herculano’s Cluster, in Santarém. The event is also to share the resources built within the scope of the VALUE project, namely the VALUE Roadmap. This document aims to inspire its readers to strengthen collaboration between assisting and core practitioners in ECEC, through the creation of journeys of continuous professional development based on the assumption that diversity and the multiple perspectives within the team are a resource to be used as a way to enhancing an educare approach.


Train the trainer on VALUE ROADMAP

This two-day meeting (8-9 October 2020) was aimed at leaders of professional learning communities within the Network for Changing Quality Step by Step. The meeting was attended by more than 50 professionals from kindergartens and primary schools. At the meeting, the Educational Research Institute (ERI) presented the results of the VALUE project, focusing on the conditions for maintaining professional learning communities in institutions and changing the institutional culture in the direction of lifelong learning. Meeting was followed by concrete facilitation techniques that can help leaders to work with the group.

Online VALUE-conference

This on-line conference was held on 26th of November 2020. The conference was attended by 130 participants from kindergartens, some representatives of primary schools, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sports, the Ministry of Labor, social work centers and other stakeholders working in the ECEC field. We talked about current issues related to the work of kindergartens during the COVID-19 pandemic, among other themes, we presented the results of the VALUE project with all developed materials. In the workshop we presented the VALUE ROADMAP, and participants had the opportunity to present their contributions.



Presentation of the VALUE project at the 5th ERI Scientific Conference

On 20th of October 2020 the professional learning communities involving assisting and core practitioners in the pilot kindergartens were presented during the Scientific Conference of the Education Research Institute.


As part of the dissemination plan the VALUE consortium prioritize to produce, at the end of the project, a country factsheet which enables a broader view of the pilot, results and resources made available. Please find here the four factsheets.

This document is an advocacy tool to be disseminated at national and international level by all the partners in the consortium. It aims to call for action of policy makers and practitioners:

  • Informing, raising awareness and guiding policy change about the role of assistants & interprofessional practice within an educare approach.
  • Disseminating the VALUE´s outputs with the aim to ensure the results of the project will be made available, discussed, understood, and put into practice in other countries and localities.

The ambition of this roadmap is to inspire you, as a reader, to strengthen collaboration between assisting and core practitioners in ECEC. The underlying idea is that better collaboration strengthens individual practitioners and teams in addressing all aspects of children’s well-being, development and learning needs.

In order to strengthen collaboration between assisting and core practitioners, this roadmap presents both a framework and ideas to develop pathways for continuous professional development, engaging both assisting and core practitioners, as well as leaders.

The content in the roadmap is inspired by the experiments developed, tested and evaluated in pilot projects in different ECEC settings in four countries (Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and Slovenia).  More precisely, the roadmap builds on the following background studies:

In the four country reports, you will find in-depth information about the pilot projects in each country. The country reports present the experiences of facilitators and participants with the VALUE CPD pathways.

In this VALUE endline report, the following question is examined: How can continuous professional development (CPD) strengthen professional identity, holistic approaches to educational work (educare) and cooperation between core and assisting practitioners working within the field of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC)? This question is explored through pilot projects conducted by research groups located in four different countries (Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and Slovenia). The report highlights the findings from the pilot projects in the four countries.

The report first presents the different VALUE pilot projects as snapshots from the four countries. It is then followed by a description of the overall lessons learned from the projects and the insights that emerged regarding important conditions at both policy and practice levels, which can be used as a framework for the future development of CPD at all levels of ECEC. Finally, we present our conclusions and make a number of recommendations based on the descriptions and examples in this VALUE endline report.

This report presents the results of the VALUE baseline survey conducted in pilot schools in each of the four participating countries (Belgium, Denmark, Portugal and Slovenia) in the first phase of the VALUE project. The baseline study was conducted to give an impression of the context in which the VALUE pilot project was implemented. The baseline study contributes to the project’s knowledge base concerning the profiles of the participating professionals in the four countries. This baseline report is a description of the starting situation in the pilot schools regarding the contexts, facts and figures, and background information from managers about the staff. Also, managers and staff’s perceptions concerning the three VALUE key concepts are captured:

  • Understanding of one’s own/others’ professional identity;
  • Understanding of one’s own/others’ role and tasks in the context of an educare approach;
  • Awareness of the need for collaboration and a collaborative approach to address the diverse needs of children, families and local communities.

Finally, the baseline study identifies participants’ expectations regarding their participation in the VALUE project.

Why investing in professional development for the whole staff? What are the conditions to enable sustainable collaborative practice in ECEC teams? And what is the state of the art concerning the position and working conditions of assisting and core practitioners in the Early Childhood and Care systems in the VALUE countries?

At the seminar VALUE both groups of the portuguese pilot presented their training journey and commented on what was most significant to them. 

EB1 / JI S.Domingos (Santarém): 

[The training journey was] based on what we are and know, always supported by the trainers. 

[Helped us] realize that in the center is the child and understand our roles and tasks. 

We learn about educational intentionality, value the collaborative dimension, look at the professional practice of each other, as an union. 

APISAL (Lisbon): 

This new way of looking at the child has been the greatest opportunity for us to reflect on our role as facilitators of our day-to-day life. 

We have had the opportunity to reflect on everyday practices and realize that communication is important to get everyone involved. 

The opportunity to do this training helps to give impetus to changing practices. 

As an expectation of continuity, both groups highlighted: 

• Greater collaboration of families in the daily education of the children. 

• More opportunities for team dialogue. 

Defining as primary commitments: 

• Creation of space and time for dialogue among professionals; 

• Listen and value the choices of children and families; 

• Reflect on everyday practices for better professional performance – That is, what we do with children, which reflect on what they have done, we must do it too. 

At the end of the meeting each group reflected on a set of issues and the definition of four key aspects was common to both groups: 

− Cooperative and collaborative role is essential in teamwork. 

− Difficulty in creating moments of reflection and sharing between teams, was one of the constraints felt. 

− [Training contributed to] having a different view of our professional performance, always respecting each individual. 

As a final conclusion, Maria João Cardona emphasized that there are more similarities than differences between the assistants groups, stressing the need to find strategies to continue these professional development processes (who gets involved, who does what, what is done, how and for what).