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Webinar on Early childhood education and care in Europe: welcoming children with disabilities, and children with a migrant background

This event on the 15th October focused on how ECEC staff and facilities can welcome children with disabilities and with migrant backgrounds and provide inclusive and high-quality education and care to all young children.

On 15 October, the European Commission hosted the final event in the series ‘Early childhood education and care in Europe’ initiated by Commissioner Gabriel to promote the Toolkit for inclusive early childhood education and care. The toolkit was developed with the contribution of the Commission working group on early childhood education and care, of which EASPD is a member since 2018.

The Webinar focused on how ECEC staff and facilities can welcome children with disabilities and with migrant backgrounds and provide inclusive and high-quality education and care to all young children, regardless of their individual or family circumstances.

The event moderator was Michael Teutsch, Head of Unit at the European Commission Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture. EASPD contributed to the first part of the Webinar, about barriers and recommendations for the inclusion of children with disabilities in ECEC. Irene Bertana, Senior Policy Officer, focused her intervention on the role of family-centred early childhood intervention (ECI) in fostering healthy development of children with disabilities and their inclusion in ECEC. She presented the main findings of the ECI AGORA project which supported the development of ECI systems at a local and national level in five European countries. In the same session, Mary Kyriazopoulou, from the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education, presented the Inclusive Early Childhood Education (IECE) project, and representatives from the Italian and Slovenian Ministries of Education presented their national strategies to foster the inclusion of children with disabilities in ECEC and education.

The second session focused on the inclusion in ECEC of children with a migrant background. Jeroen Aarssen presented the The Erasmus+ MyRef project about Multilingual ECEC for young refugee children, and Tobias Wandrei from the German Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth presented the 'Kita-Einstieg' programme that offers a series of measures to prepare and support access to child day care.

You can find the recording of the webinar here.