Early Childhood Education and Care is one of the core areas of education, and investing research, resources and energy in it is essential for the harmonious development of children, particularly those from disadvantaged areas. The beginning of life is the most critical period for the development of the brain and a strong determining factor for later life outcomes. According to the European Commission, ECEC staff are in fact the most impactful factor for children’s well-being, learning and developmental outcomes.
For these reasons, Early Childhood Education and Care is one the priorities of eTwinning, the biggest learning community of teachers in Europe.
This can be seen through initiatives such as the eTwinning European Prizes competition, a high form of recognition for educational projects. Since 2019, a new age category has been added – up to 6 years old. In this way, European teachers are encouraged to create new quality projects for pre-primary pupils. Acknowledging and awarding teachers’ efforts and initiatives is necessary for the goal of developing the quality of Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe.
eTwinning continues to support ECEC even outside the European Prizes competition. For instance, a professional development workshop for ECEC staff will be organised between September 29 and October 1 this year. It will address the profile of ECEC teachers and the cross- and multi-disciplinary approaches that they can implement, around topics such as media literacy competence development in pre-schoolers, STEAM approaches and teamwork.
The new kit for ECEC, S.T.E.A.M.-tastic, is based on STEAM education, exploring different themes through Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. The project therefore offers the participants a cross-curricular experience that allows them to engage in inclusive education using problem-solving approaches. Each theme should be approached from all five points of view by organising activities together with the international partners, so that the participants develop a holistic understanding of the proposed theme.
You can find the project kit here.
We hope that this has inspired you to create your own quality ECEC project!