On August 21, our colleagues of the Dublin City University – Early Childhood Research Centre, Dr Gillian Lake, Prof Mathias Urban, Dr Geraldine French, Fiona Giblin and Therese Farrell, presented the conceptual framework for the impact evaluation of the second phase of the TOY for Inclusion project at the EECERA conference in Greece .
Over the next 18 months, they will be collecting data in Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia and Turkey where the project is supporting ECEC Play Hubs, inclusive multigenerational play spaces for young children and their families.
Through the Play Hubs, TOY for Inclusion aims to increased access of harder to reach children and especially migrant and ethnic minority children (0-6) to inclusive and quality ECEC settings, increase knowledge and skills of educators, leaders of educational institutions, practitioners of the health sector, carers and local policy makers and embed non formal ECEC services in local educational policies.
DCU’s impact evaluation is drawing upon Fetterman’s (2012) theory of empowerment evaluation. It is an emerging framework that is responsive to local needs and uses cycles of reflection and action by the providers and service users themselves, who provide data on shared understandings of local impact. The guiding question will be how concrete, diverse, and inevitably specific local experiences can be framed. Learning at systems level can occur, without losing the richness and diversity ‘on the ground’ to surface-level generalizability. Seen within a systemic perspective, the challenge for policy and governance at all levels is to abandon linear but simplistic understandings of implementation, and to enable circular processes instead. The project intends to have implications for policy and provide a global perspective on inclusive early childhood services through a local lens.
Download here DCU’s PowerPoint presentation.