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Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnerships – EU-SELF project

Erasmus+ KA2 Strategic Partnerships – EU-SELF project – “Social and Emotional Skills Development in Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe” (2019-1-BG01-KA201-062593) Nowadays there is no doubt that social and emotional skills (SES) are the key elements of human development. Research findings and official reports provide enough evidence that if children are not attaining minimal SES at around six years of age, they are likely to be at risk in the next stages of their development. Well-developed SES in children contribute to academic success, improve learning conditions, are a powerful tool for empowering children for a better future, for a happier and more productive life, but also they are an irreplaceable tool for prevention of social exclusion, aggression and bulling, school dropout, different types of risk behaviours, psychopathology, unemployment, etc. Deficits in SES lead to poor academic results, may lead to problems with social adaptation or serious psychopathology, substance abuse problems, challenges finding employment, etc. Supporting SES development in early years not only increases children’s chances of success in school, work, and life but it has a great indirect impact on their families, teachers, and the society as whole. The EU-SELF project team is committed to contribute to the key EU priorities: (prevention of ESL (Europe2020), Recommendation 23/4/2008 (European Parliament and Council, C(2008)/C111/01); Communication COM (EC, COM(2011- 66def) ECEC: Providing All Children with the Best Start); EC Communication on Europe 2020 Strategy (COM(2010) 2020); EC’s Proposal for key principles of a Quality Framework for ECEC (EU ECEC QF) (COM(2018) 271 final); EC Recommendation for Quality in ECEC (2018); ERF on Key Competences (2018/C 189/01), Health 2020, etc.), by creating an innovative approach that integrates the academic knowledge in the field of SES with the early childhood educational practises. The team will suggest and plan the new approach by relying on the knowledge alliance between HEIs and ECEC providers and will produce the following results: -an innovative and Europe-wide digital platform, containing reliable, professional and up-to-date, interactive content regarding the state of SES assessment, development and interventions of early and preschool children. It will serve simultaneously as SES information and resource hub, and as well as a tool for communication and exchange of information between ECEC providers, educators, researchers, stakeholders, experts from different countries supporting the achievement of key priorities in the EU. This tool will have sustainable long-term impact. It will boost the field of development of key competences for early and preschool children, children’s social inclusion, redaction of early school dropout, which is in line with the new challenges of the today’s Europe. The platform will be open assess and it will be available after the project ends. -a thorough, sophisticated, scientific literature analysis of the state of SES assessment, development and interventions of early and preschool children for most of the European countries (47) and oversees. The information will be uploaded in the platform and published in 2-volume book. -qualitative study findings regarding teachers and parents’ understanding and attitudes on children’s SES in each partner country. General and national reports will be published. -publications of good practices in European countries and oversees, -analysis of the educational context in the partner countries, -case studies of the practices in the partner countries, -a glossary of main concepts regarding SES. -overviews of key topics regarding SES. The project will reach out various target groups, whose feedback will contribute to its impact and sustainability. Those will be: researchers, teachers, educators, ECEC providers, kindergarten principals, parents, professionals, experts, stakeholders, decision-making bodies, local authorities, EU bodies, etc. EU-SELF project outputs will have enormous long-term impact and sustainability through the following: -digital platform-it will last after the project life cycle and will be assessable worldwide -research study–the findings will contribute to other research and applied projects in other countries, it’s a strong continuation to the findings of OECD studies (2015, 2018), its methodology can be applied in other countries -publications -collection of key findings, topics and analysis, free use -publications of lessons learned by linking knowledge and real practice. The team expects that the above contributions will boost the field of development of key competences for early and preschool children, their social inclusion, reduce the children’s dropout from school, increase the quality of ECEC providers, etc., which respond to the new challenges of the today’s European Union. We view EU-SELF project as a solid foundation and our first step towards a more ambitious aim-development of a programme for SES development in early and preschool children in Europe. EU-SELF project is financed by Erasmus+ programme (KA201), 2019.

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