Excerpt from introduction
Good workforce preparation is a critical measure to meet the dual challenge of providing generalised equitable access to ECEC, while retaining the quality of provision. This is also recognised by the EU in its 2011 Council Conclusions on ECEC, 2011. But what is ‘good’ workforce preparation? This paper elaborates on recent studies in European Member States and provides insights on successful strategies for ECEC workforce professionalization to include and serve children from low income and migrant families. The paper draws on the research findings of a study on ECEC staff competence requirements, commissioned by the European Commission DG Education and Culture (Urban, Vandenbroeck et al, 2011), drawing on literature from various EU countries as well as in-depth case studies. . These analyses were also complemented with contributions from recent European projects such as Working for Inclusion Programme and the study ECEC in promoting educational attainment including social development of children from disadvantaged backgrounds and in fostering social inclusion.