Involving stakeholders, from the start
VALUE wants to make assisting practitioners ‘visible’ by raising awareness of policy makers on this matter. This will mean, in a long-term, including assisting practitioners in all policy documents that refer to ECEC staff, collecting data about their presence and background, besides involving them in professionalization paths.
The project involves all stakeholders from the very start, by creating a ‘stakeholders group’ in order to discuss specific aspects in itinere, to make sure that the project stays sustainable and to have the structural conditions to be realised. Participants of the stakeholder group will be: ECEC organisations, local policy makers, training institutes, representatives from the schools (pedagogical coaches). In this way we create a bottom-up approach, but we also make sure that policy makers are involved through all the project.
Creating VALUE pathways: professional development for the whole ECEC team
We create professional development pathways to strengthen a collaborative approach in the context of diversity (within staff and families attending ECEC). The VALUE pathway is collectively for the whole staff (assistants and preschool teachers), whereas mainstream professional development usually focuses either on preschool teachers only, or on different types of practitioners separately.
The project works on valuing diversity within the staff, already during the professional development path. This is an innovative approach to ‘training’ in which participants experiment actively what they are supposed to learn (they learn reflection by reflecting, negotiation by negotiating, valuing diversity by valuing their diversity). The project also wants to explore the possibilities to create adapted pathways which gives lower qualified assistants the possibility to obtain a higher qualification.
Building the evidence base for policy development and training
Through desk research and piloting and evaluating VALUE pathways in the different countries involved, we will build the evidence base to create policy, practice and training guidelines for new VALUE pathways after the end of the project.
By analysing the results of the project, we will create a joint publication for European policy makers, with specific recommendations on how to create professional development for all, support a collaborative approach in ECEC and strengthen the role and position of assisting practitioners in ECEC.
Besides, we will develop a training toolbox on valuing diversity in care and education. The toolbox will be designed for training institutions that want to give in-service trainings to ECEC teams on working together in a diverse group, involving all ECEC practitioners.