All European countries now issue official educational guidelines to improve settings and provision. However, in around half of the European countries, these guidelines are restricted to settings for children over 3 years old (Eurydice Policy Brief ECEC 2014). Unitary ECEC systems are found to be more effective in terms of the organisation of services and quality assurance, whereas split systems tend to weaken the provision of high quality ECEC, because governance processes are more complicated due to the fragmentation of administrative responsibilities (key principles of a Quality Framework for ECEC [ET2020 WG ECEC]).
Lack of unitary guidelines (0-6) affects reflections on three main areas of the ECEC provision: (i) accessibility, (ii) curricula and (iii) monitoring.
NEMO project will impact on all this. A diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is usually provided around the age of two and half/three and usually follows a developmental delay in children’s linguistic skills. So ASD seems to be a matter of 3-6 education systems. But it is not. Indeed, clear signs of impairments in the social skills that can lead to ASD can be seen and read much earlier, during embodied and prelinguistic practices between infants and caregivers, when the infant is between 9 and 18-month-old. Our methodology will help ECEC teachers to detect clear signs of possible future social skills disorders, which may later lead to a diagnosis of ASD, through the observation of prelinguistic interactions between caregivers and infants and will develop in-service trainings on monitoring practices, focusing on the monitoring of toddlers’ experience of ECEC. Early detection will allow for the creation of new educational methods and tools that will improve the capacity of ASD children.
Our project will show how the combination of pre-linguistic screening methodologies and effective teaching methods can reduce the gap between neurotypical and ASD children, both at cognitive and educational levels. The combination of early observation of toddlers (0-3) and a series of educational interventions (0-6) will raise awareness about the need for a unitary system (0-6) and for a set of policies aimed at creating this type of organisation.
NEMO project pursues the following objectives:
(i) To Allow preschool teachers to have the necessary knowledge and competences in order to be
able to access children affected by ASD in the activities of the classroom;
(ii) To introduce and recommend pre-primary teachers curricula into a unified system ISCED 0 (0 - 6
years), taking into account ASD children needs.
(iii) To introduce and recommend monitoring tools and monitoring framework to create greater
coherence in monitoring practices.