Reclaiming transitions as inclusive relational spaces in times of crisis and beyond
The InTrans project has identified five key actions that policy decision-makers, providers and leaders should undertake – in social dialogue with trade union organizations – to enhance the participation of children and families to Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in times of crisis and beyond.
By interconnecting its educational, social and economic functions, ECEC can play a key supportive role in facing the crisis for all children and families, especially those who are at risk of social exclusion (Communication on Achieving the European Education Area by 2025, 2020; Council Recommendation on High Quality ECEC, 2019).
Removing structural barriers related to availability, accessibility and affordability of provision is certainly a first step to be undertaken in this direction. However, the evidence collected during the first and second waves of the COVID-19 pandemic revealed that implementing such measures do not suffice to ensure participation of societally disadvantaged groups to ECEC. Research shows that building relationships of trust with children and families is of uttermost importance to reduce the risk of withdrawal and ensure continuity of children’s attendance.