For the past decades, European policy makers as well as the European civil society have shown a growing interest in the field of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). The Barcelona objectives (set by the European Council in 2002) urges for a greater availability of top-quality child-minding solutions while the predominant role played by early years in children’s development becomes a commonly known fact. Nevertheless, child care provision in Europe remains a fragmented area, including formally trained practitioners as well as experienced but informal childminders.
Informal childcare is commonly used, sometimes to compensate the insufficient availability of formal and/or affordable solutions. However, informal care does not necessarily rhyme with unskilled workers, but the lack of transparency impeaches to identify workers’ competences and therefore to develop them via lifelong learning.