School of Language, Literacy & Early Childhood Education header
School of Language, Literacy & Early Childhood Education
Professor Mathias Urban
Professor Mathias Urban, Desmond Chair of Early Childhood Education

TOY to Share, Play to Care

Early Childhood Research Centre partner in new ERASMSUS+ project to create community based ECEC initiatives in seven countries

From January 2019, a research team at DCU IoE’s Early Childhood Research Centre will participate in an international project focused on creating community based early childhood education and care initiatives. TOY to Share, Play to Care aims at scaling up the successful TOY for Inclusion approach, which has proven to be an effective means of creating community-based ECEC initiatives that improve access to ECEC for marginalized young children, their transition to formal education and the capacity of their parents and professionals.

The project will directly benefit 1400 children and their families with special focus on children 0-6 years from migrant and ethnic minorities in Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Slovakia and Slovenia and Turkey; 140 ECEC practitioners and 35 local, national and international policy makers. 3000 organisations will be reached through the project’s advocacy campaign.

Project results: increased access of migrant and ethnic minority children (0-6) to inclusive and quality ECEC settings; increased knowledge and skills on how to implement effective community based inclusive ECEC services amongst professionals and policy makers; inclusive and quality community-based ECEC services will be embedded in local educational policies; staff of local authorities will be trained on the TOY for Inclusion approach and provided with evidence to inform policy and practice.

A team based at DCU IoE’s Early Childhood Research Centre, led by Prof Mathias Urban will be responsible for the impact evaluation of the project, and for developing policy recommendations at local, national and EU level. Team members are Dr Geraldine French, Dr Gillian Lake, Therese Farrell and Fiona Giblin

Main outputs of the project will be:

  • 14 ECEC non-formal ECEC initiatives in 7 countries, documented through blog posts, video, reports.
  • 14 active cross-sectoral networks of professionals in inclusive ECEC operating at a local level;
  • An impact evaluation report and recommendations and summary in all national languages.
  • A set of products for the advocacy campaign: story post cards; pop museum; multi-lingual infographic, website with data base of resources; two international events and three events per country.

Project Participants

International Child Development Initiatives (ICDI), Leiden, The Netherlands (lead institution)

Pucko Otvoreno Uciliste Korak Po Korak, Zagreb, Croatia

Center for Education Initiatives, Jekabpils, Latvia

Skola dokoran - Wide Open School n. o., Žiar nad Hronom, Slovakia

Pedagoski Institut, Ljublana, Slovenia

Associazione 21 luglio Onlus, Rome, Italy

Partners for Democratic Change Hungary Partners Hungary Alapít, Budapest, Hungary

Akdeniz Roman Dernekleri Federasyonu, Mersin, Turkey

International Step by Step Association (ISSA), Leiden, The Netherlands

Dublin City University, Early Childhood Research Centre (ECRC), Dublin, Ireland