NESET II AR1 / 2016 Analytical Report

The VALUE project builds upon the research findings in the NESET II publication Professionalisation of Childcare Assistants in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC): Pathways towards Qualification (Peeters, J., Sharmahd, N., Budginaitė, I., 2016). This analytical report was prepared for the European Commission.

In many countries, part of the workforce is represented by low qualified ECEC assistants. Investing in the professionalization of assistants represents a key element for ECEC quality improvement, especially since in a number of countries the share of assistants in the services is rapidly growing. This growth needs to be accompanied by a strong investment in competent systems that value the contributions of all staff, and involve the whole workforce in continuous professional development. The report gives an overview on the situation concerning ECEC assistants in 15 Member States.

Building on the findings of the CoRe study (Urban et al., 2011; Vandenbroeck et al., 2016), the report reviews the profiles of ECEC assistants and their professionalization opportunities. Recommendations on how to develop coherent pathways towards qualification and continuous professional development (CPD) for assistants are described. In addition, examples of successful pathways towards qualification and CPD in three selected European countries are presented (Denmark, France, Slovenia).