Early childhood education in Italy
Italian culture has had a leading role in recognising and promoting early childhood education: Italian pedagogies such as Montessori and Reggio are well known and adopted all over the world.
The circumstances of our actual society present many challenges and also Italian educational institutions make constantly a lot of efforts in finding innovation, new skills and abilities to adapt to the lack of public funding, the demographic decline, the increasing number of children with non-Italian background or with physical or learning difficulties and the lack of parental competence in education.
UNESCO confirms the importance of the age 0-6 with this statement: “Early childhood care and education is more than preparation for primary school. It aims at the holistic development of a child’s social, emotional, cognitive and physical needs and it is one of the best investments a country can make to promote human resource development, gender equality and social cohesion, and to reduce the costs for later remedial programmes”.
The program of the study visit is organized according to the needs of the participants (kindergarten teachers, school managers, trainers) and gives a comprehensive overview of the Italian situation. The study visit can also be an excellent opportunity to establish contacts with teachers and school managers to start a transnational cooperation.
The possible topics covered during the study visit are:
- The structure of childhood education
- Organization, funding and legislation
- Inclusion of children with disabilities or special needs
- Intercultural education
- The Reggio Emilia Approach
- The implementation of the Montessori method
- The implementation of the Steiner (Waldorf) method
- Involvement and cooperation with parents
- Pet therapy in day care centres and kindergartens
- Psychomotricity in day care centres and kindergartens
- Nutritional education
- Furniture and equipment in day care centres and kindergartens
- Staff initial and continuous training
The study tour includes visits to municipal and private crèches, kindergartens and centres providing educational and therapeutic activities for children. Meetings with childhood policy makers, managers of public and private institutions and experts on growth and children’s difficulties complete the programme.
A regular programme lasts 5 days. When registering for a group (8 or more people), the period, duration and content can be defined according to special requests.