Ten years after the start of the monitoring activities of early childhood education services promoted by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers - Department for Family Policies and carried out with the collaboration of Istituto degli Innocenti of Florence, this Handbook of Early Childhood Education Services aims to be a useful tool to accompany and support the work of all those who - with different roles and skills - are involved in the universe of early childhood education services.
The structure of the Handbook is articulated along a series of areas that guide the reader through the different topics of interest:
- Programming: where, when, and why
- Planning: structures, organisation and the educational project
- Managing: roles and functions of the public and private sectors
- Quality: rules, control and supervision
- Integrated system: coordination, financing and access
- Perspective 0-6: ideas for the future
Focusing fundamentally on preschool services, as the main ingredient of the supply system, the manual consists of more than 200 fact sheets and many more possible links to specially prepared databases both on updated data relating to the demand and supply of services for the 0-6 years category, and, finally, on the legal and regulatory apparatuses currently in force in the various regional areas of the country.
The handbook obviously has no prescriptive value but, if anything, it is intended as a provisional summary of good guidelines that can certainly be improved on in future editions by being supported more directly by experiences and contributions from the different realities of the country.
In conclusion, it is hoped that the flexibility of the manual will lead to its useful and productive use, while at the same time we hope that its actual use will guide its updating and improvement over time.