News & Events

ValChild video

Posted by Fionna Kelleher, ECI (Feb21)

The Irish partner Early Childhood Ireland (ECI) has made a video about the outputs of the ValChild project. Click HERE to watch the video.

ValChild workshops in Portugal

Posted by Ana Teresa Brito, ISPA (Feb21)

ISPA professors Ana Teresa Brito and Lourdes Mata are members of the ValChild project, which has five European partners (France, Greece, Holland, Ireland and Portugal). Its main objective is to make the non-formal and informal skills of a childminder and other educational caregivers visible and validate.

This Erasmus+ project started in October 2018 and is now approaching the end. In this context, two workshops were held in Portugal, Ireland and France, to promote and reflect on the instruments which have been developed and s proposed: 1. skills profile for childminders and other caregivers, 2. skills validation process and 3. toolbox, with special emphasis on the construction of the Portfolio that seeks to translate the uniqueness and value of each candidate’s path in the validation process.

The first ISPA workshop was attended by 15 childminders and other caregivers, and the second by 27 specialists from the Social Security Institute, the Childminder Support Teams, Municipal Teams, Trainers and Employers of Childminders, among others. The debate, which had the shared aim of contributing to improving the quality of Early Childhood Education by dignifying and valuing the role of childminders, was a success, highlighting the relevance of networking.

Find out more on the project website: https://www.valchild.eu/

ValChild: Recommendations and certification scheme

Posted by Elena Diordieva, IPERIA (Feb21)

The “Valchild recommendations and certification scheme” has been completed. The output consists of a set of 3 ready-to-use tools that facilitate the implementation of operational and reliable validation procedures. The document can be found at www.valchild.eu/outputs/ (available in EN, FR, NL, PT and EL). These tools are described as follows:

  • A recommendation mechanism: based on pre-set ValChild competence profile, assessment procedure and language standards, this tool enables the assessment of childminders’ competences and provides recommendations as regards the next steps in education and training, eventually leading to childminders’ certification. More concretely, through this mechanism the childminder receives a report on his/her competences, focusing on both the identified strengths and weaknesses.
  • A certification scheme: based on the developed ValChild qualification standard at EQF level 3 (5 competence areas, 26 competencies and assessment descriptors), it enables childminders, after the evaluation of their submitted portfolio and interview with the certification commission, to obtain partial or full certification. In case of non-validation, the childminders are provided with recommendations for future training.
  • A trainer handbook: that provides guidelines and key principles to be considered by validation experts involved in the ValChild assessment and validation procedure. Also, it sets out guidelines on ValChild qualification standard for home-based registered childminders; on the use of ValChild assessment and assessment materials and tools as well as recommendations on the development of additional resources, including case studies, practical exercises etc.

The proposed tools are mainly built on the basis of the best knowledge and the experience of the project partners, as well as on the findings of the key documents, studies, and projects in the field of validation of non-formal and informal learning carried out in the EU.

As a matter of fact, some of the participating countries to this project, such as France, Ireland, The Netherlands, and Portugal have already some official qualifications for the professional profile of childminders at their NQFs, as well as validation procedures already in place and in some cases well consolidated. Both, qualifications, and validation process, are part of the binding legal frameworks within those member states. Therefore, for those member states and others having already established qualifications and/or validation process, ValChild outputs can be only relevant as an example for future developments or adaptations – considering the relevant social, economic, and labour market context – and do not intend to replace the existing tools and processes. Consequently, these tools represent a common ground that would serve as a sound basis for further development, especially for those EU member states not having still developed their own qualifications in the field of childminding.

Article also available at the EPALE-website

ValChild project meeting 3 – Oct 19

The third transnational project meeting of the VALCHILD project was hosted by IPERIA in Paris, France, on the 22nd-23rd October 2019.

The reports from output 1 (survey and desk-research) form the basis for work to be done in output 2. On the agenda were the planning and activities in output 2. The 3 tasks in this Output are the development of:

  1. ValChild assessment materials
  2. Practical examination framework and processes
  3. ValChild portfolio

An interesting discussion followed about the minimum requirements for the portfolio and the toolbox and how this could look-like, respecting the (recently) developed materials and procedure in the different countries.

On Wednesday morning EC-VPL and IPERIA demonstrated different VPL-tools and the partners worked with tools for producing evidence, the STAR(RTT)-method, Criteria Based Interview (CBI), types of portfolio including a competence biography, a Personal Development Plan (PDP). Also, small exercises like about communication (clear explaining and learning to listen and to understand) were held and discussed.

An important lesson for all was that working on a VPL-recognition can be joyful, interesting, intriguing, longing for further exploration, learning and self-steering of competences.

VPL is often a stand-alone instrument vs. sustainable individual management of competences.

  • Large diversity between countries.
  • Further elaboration of the common ground for VPL in childminding and the differences

ValChild project meeting 2 – May 19

The second transnational project meeting of the VALCHILD project was hosted by EC-VPL in Utrecht, Netherlands, on the 28th-29th May 2019.

The outcomes of the evidence collection on best VNIL practices and common barriers to implementing assessment for childminding shows the differences in the partner countries in the minimum qualification level for childminders, in competence profiles, in the VPL-procedures and in phase of development of VPL.

The desk research and survey showed:

  • the low awareness of institutions about ´VNIL´
  • the complexity of the validation process and the competence profile
  • the lack of awareness from the general public (Validation)
  • the lack of financial motivation for training institutions
  • Insufficient staff specifically trained to guide/assess/validate
  • No common professional standard for childminder
    VPL is often a stand-alone instrument vs. sustainable individual management of competences.
  • Large diversity between countries.
  • Further elaboration of the common ground for VPL in childminding and the differences

ValChild Project meeting 1 – Oct 18

The Kick-Off meeting took place in October 2018 at the offices of the Early Childhood Ireland (ECI). The participants made an introductory
presentation of themselves and the organisation they represent, in relation to their role and expected contribution to the VALCHILD project.

This was a very important meeting as partners got to understand more in-depth each other´s contexts, background and VPL-systems. The presentation and enriching discussions showed clearly the different grounds and perspectives at national levels in the organisation of childminding, the minimum education level, vocational competence profiles, state of development of Validation of Prior Learning (VPL).

The detailed research plan was presented by ECI and focussed on:

  • Field research on main barriers to implementing assessment
  • Desk research on existing practices in VPL in partner countries
  • Desk research on VPL best practices in EU countries (with most advanced VPL systems).

Project “Child in Mind” – Information Day – 16.01.2019

Project ChildInMind is aimed at the development of self-learning resources for informal childminders based on the needs to promote the quality of services provided by care services for children aged 0-6 years, which do not attend kindergarten or need care in hours that formal arrangements are not available.

More information about the project: www.childinmind.project.eu

ValChild Information Days and Workshops 2019-2020

Three workshops are planned for the purpose of sharing and valorising the VALCHILD outputs through the pilot testing, with the participation of validation stakeholders (certified bodied & institutions), sector employers, field experts, and practitioners in childminding.

  1. ValdChild workshop in Dublin (IE) – September 2020
  2. ValdChild workshop in Alençon or Paris (FR) – September 2020
  3. ValdChild workshop in Lisbon (PT) – September 2020

Furthermore, two information days are planned to present the project’s objectives, activities, results, and outputs to the target groups ValChild

  • ValdChild Information Day in Greece – February 2021
  • ValdChild Information Day in the Netherlands – February 2021

On 16 January 2019 the European Project “Child in Mind” will hold their Information day.