Education International
Education International

Report of the European Round Table on Early Childhood Education

published 1 June 2006 updated 1 June 2006

A European Round Table on Early Childhood Education (ECE) took place in Paris, France, on 22 May 2006 at the "Mutualité Générale de l'Education Nationale" (MGEN). This meeting was the follow-up to the Round Table held last October in Sofia, Bulgaria. It addressed the issue of Quality in Early Childhood Education and a review of the current practices in Europe. The meeting was conducted with interpretation services in English and French.

Charlie Lennon, EI Chief Regional Coordinator for Europe, and Patrick Gonthier, EI Vice President and General Secretary of UNSA – an EI affiliate in France, introduced the opening and introduction session. This was followed by a presentation by Professor Sylvia Nicolaeva from Sofia University on “Strengthening kindergarten school continuity – key elements of transition practice in Bulgaria”. Dr. Helen Penn from the University of East London followed on with a presentation on the issue of "Providing for children under three in England: the difficulties of a targeted approach".

Two break-out sessions took place during the day - the first was facilitated by Catherine Byrne from INTO, Ireland, with a discussion on the financing of Early Childhood Education. Agnès Florin from Nantes University, France, conducted the second session on "How to define the quality of Early Childhood Education?". Participants were divided into three groups: the French-speaking group led by Jean-Louis Biot from UNSA, France, the English-speaking group was led by Norma Anne Watson from EIS, Scotland, and the third group from Central and Eastern European countries was led by Kounka Damianova, SEB, Bulgaria. The groups were invited to summarize their discussions and recommendations were presented by the three representatives.

Anna Tornberg from Lärarförbundet, Sweden, took the final session to present the new EI brochure on ECE and to discuss the changes made to the draft policy paper, the final to be presented in December to the EI Pan-European Committee.

Please click on the link below to access the files and draft report: