Curriculum and Quality Assessment and Impact Review of European Early Childhood Education and Care

01.01.2014 to 31.12.2016

CARE project

General project description

In line with the EU strategies for 2020 and the need for a systemic and integrated approach to Early Childhood education and Care (ECEC), the project identifies eight key issues and questions for which effective policy measures and instruments should be developed. They concern assessing the impact of ECEC, optimizing quality and curricula for ECEC to increase effectiveness, raising the professional competencies of staff, monitoring and assuring quality of ECEC, increasing the inclusiveness of ECEC, in particular for socioeconomically disadvantaged children, funding of ECEC, and the need for innovative European indicators of children’s wellbeing.
The project addresses these issues in an integrative way by combining state-of-the-art knowledge of factors determining personal, social and economic benefits of ECEC with knowledge of the mechanisms determining access to and use of ECEC. In developing a European knowledge base for ECEC, the project adds to the existing knowledge in three ways.

  • First, it includes secondary analyses of recent and ongoing large-scale longitudinal ECEC research from several European countries.
  • Second, it includes the perspectives of important stakeholders and integrate cultural beliefs and values through a large scale survey across Europe.
  • Third, it includes an observational in-depth study in ECEC centers in eight countries, along with a cross-cultural evaluation of observed practices.

The central aim is to develop an evidence-based and culture-sensitive framework of

  • (a) Developmental goals, quality assessment, curriculum approaches and policy measures for improving the quality and effectiveness of ECEC; and
  • (b) Effective strategies of organising, funding and governing ECEC that increase the impact of ECEC.

The interdisciplinary research team constructs this framework, based on the competencies and skills that young children need to develop in current societies, identifies the conditions that have to be fulfilled to promote child development and wellbeing, and identifies strategies and policy measures that support access to high quality provisions, and that are likely to receive broad support of stakeholders, thereby enhancing the impact of ECEC.

More information



EU grant Granted within the European FP7 program; 2.5 million euro

Project members