The role and place of ECEC in integrated working, benefitting vulnerable groups such as Roma

Ankie Vandekerckhove, Hester Hulpia, Jana Huttova, Jan Peeters, Danut Dumitru, Claudiu Ivan, Szilvia Rezmuves, Eugenia Volen, Alina Makarevičienė
NESET Analytical Report, 2019

High-quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) is crucial for today’s children and families, especially for those in vulnerable and disadvantaged situations. However, the needs of vulnerable children and families are multi-faceted and cannot be addressed by ECEC services alone. To improve the holistic development and well-being of children and families a wide range of policies, services, and actions must be involved. Only multi-dimensional, aligned and integrated responses and interventions in early years can address the complex needs, especially for the families in vulnerable situations, such as living in poverty, being of Roma origin, or coming from a migration or asylum context.

The main purpose of this report is to examine the added value provided by, and the prerequisites for, integrated working – as well as the crucial role played by ECEC services – in order to better serve all families, but especially the vulnerable and disadvantaged ones. Separate attention is devoted to Roma children and their families as one of the most vulnerable groups in Europe, often trapped in a vicious circle of poverty, exclusion and discrimination.

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