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. Validation of Non-formal and Informal learning (VNIL) is a way to both diagnose and evaluate skills acquired through experience which allows in a second time to guide people toward further appropriate learning. But for now, this kind of device is unfortunately not frequently used in Europe in the child care area, as there is no common assessment framework.