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Participation in early childhood education and care in Europe. A focus on children with disabilities?

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Bulgarelli, D., Pelitti, M., & Solimando, C.
Publication Date: 
15 Jan 2022

Excerpted from abstract

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) is the provision for children from birth to compulsory primary education that falls within a national regulatory framework. This paper aims at describing ECEC services in 32 European education systems and describing the measures to foster the participation of children with disabilities, during the years 2017-2018. The sources of information were documents drafted by the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education and SEEPRO- R. The share of private providers of settings for children under three years was higher compared to pre-primary settings. Often the settings for children under three came under the auspices of ministries of welfare and social affairs, while the pre-primary settings were overseen by the ministries of education. In several education systems, settings for children under three years lacked a National Curricular Framework. Several education systems had targeted measures for the participation of children with disabilities in both regular and integrative settings: the enrolment of additional staff, individual education plans, reduced group size. This paper shows that further policy actions are needed to fully include the provisions for children under three years within the education systems in their countries. Further research is needed to address the constructs of participation and inclusion in different countries.