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Issue 3 - December 2013



NEST Newsletter

December 2013

Issue 3

NEST - Network of Staff and Teachers in Childcare Services is a European project funded by the European Commission within the Lifelong Learning Programme – under Comenius sub-programme –, with the aim of establishing a network in the field of staff development in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in Europe. This is the third newsletter of the project.

Update on the NEST project’s progress

Since our previous newsletter in September 2013 the NEST community is slowly and surely building up. The discussions, the work and the sharing is mostly taking place in the national working groups, the international community is yet to be built up. However we are keen on collecting resources that are in English and are about national ECEC issues and treasures, thus building a common European understanding of trials and tribulations of early childhood education and care.


For this very reason we have chosen to have one country in focus of every newsletter. The limelight of this newsletter falls on ITALY. Below you will find a report on an Italian event, a couple of case studies and good practices and as usual, an introduction of a project with strong synergy to the NEST network.

Italian NEST event

posterOn 3 December 2013 a dissemination conference was run in Italy at University of Macerata, Department of Education, Cultural Heritage and Tourism. The event was organized by the scientific staff of the university in collaboration with the municipality. The speakers wanted to offer, in fact, a wide and rich overview of the educational actions to be taken to strenghten the synergy between the political and social dimension with the research and educational needs. Policy makers, kindergarten coordinators, educators and academic staff jointly discussed the potentialities of enhancing the quality of the early childhood services in the framework of a networking activity by taking advantage also of the online opportunities offered by the European project NEST.

An introductory description of the NEST objectives and strategies was presented to a wide audience of more than 100 professionals (educators, teachers, coordinators, trainers and also students) along with a focus on the activities done in the online national Italian NEST communities which involves members coming from different regions and contexts with a variety of professional profiles and experience (ECEC educators, teachers, trainers, councelors, coordinators, psychologists). The members of the Italian NEST community clearly identify themselves as a “group of practice” where they freely discuss and share best practices, resources, and viewpoints tied to their daily work. We would like to conclude with an educator’s statement which well synthesizes the mission of the Italian community and its value: “The NEST group has a clear objective, the contributions posted shows the depth of the involvement, the perception is of taking part in a collaborative work in progress”.

Hands on Museums for children: Muba of Milan

by Simona Vigoni

imageIn Italy there are places created to encourage creative or divergent thinking in children: museums. Museums designed for the little ones, interactive places for running experiments and workshops, far from the traditional museum concept of the "look but do not touch" type. These museums are part of the International Association of Children Museums Hands On! International.

Here you look, but above all you touch: living material, manipulated, malleable and transformable with the eyes, with the hands and in the minds of the young visitors, denominated ACTORS. Yes, because they become protagonists of the experience, no longer passive users, simple commentators, forced only to "watch" a work of art. Here they can paste with their hands, assemble pieces, do and un-do in a continuous creative process.

At the Muba of Milan (MUBA Museo dei Bambini Milano), just to mention one example of Hands On Museums (the readers might forgive me – but I am from Milan ed.) you can find a large amount of boxes that collect hundreds of items of differently shaped and coloured material: caps, fabric, tubes, spools .. to assemble, fit, stack according to one’s own taste and project in a continuous process of discovery. MORE

Examining the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education

by Valarie Mercilliott Hewett

"Reggio Emilia, a prosperous town in Northern Italy, is the site of one of the most innovative, high-quality city-run infant-toddler and pre-primary systems in the world. The Reggio Emilia Approach to early childhood education draws from the ideas of many great thinkers, yet it is much more than an eclectic mix of theories. With that in mind, the following points concerning the learner, the instructor, and knowledge serve to guide the Reggio Emilia Approach to educating young children: the learner possesses rights, is an active constructor of knowledge, and is a social being; the instructor is a collaborator and co-learner along with the child, a guide and facilitator, and a researcher; and knowledge is viewed as being socially constructed, encompassing multiple forms of knowing, and comprised of meaningful wholes." (Hewett, V.M. (2001): Examining the Reggio Emilia Approach to Early Childhood Education, Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol. 29, No. 2, Winter 2001 (© 2001). Read the full article HERE.




For more information on the Reggio Emilia Approach click HERE.



The Netq6 project

imageNetQ6 - Network for the Quality in Early Childhood Education from 0-6 years - is a cooperative network participated by educative and training institutions in Europe, aiming at comparing, analyzing and facing the socio challenges that arise in the growth of early childhood 0-6 years, and lead their steps to find solutions for the new realities and special needs found out in their education systems.

The aim of the project is to promote dialogue, reflection, cooperation and innovation about pre-school and early childhood education 0-6 years for disadvantaged children and at risk through the network, to foment the development of a quality European education sustainable and balanced, according to the different situations and problems faced by these specific children and institutions with the new reality in Europe. Among the specific objectives:

  • To identify, exchange and take advantage of the experience and good practices of the pre-school and early childhood education centres with successful programmes for disadvantaged and at risk children.
  • To promote the implementation of innovative pedagogic approaches that stimulate critical thought, creativity and innovation.
  • To enhance early schooling as a key factor in school success and future European citizens.
  • To identify themes for multilateral projects and cooperation pre-school and early childhood education.

Have a taste of NetQ6 at the multilingual portal.

The NetQ6 and the NEST community is looking for ways to collaborate due to the strong synergy between the projects.

Meet the person behind the username

The NEST Community has a very strong intention to remain in every user’s eyes a group of dedicated flesh and blood individuals. In every newsletter, a core community member will introduce themselves and their professional interest as well as their activity within the NEST network. In this newsletter you can meet Emese Krudy from Hungary.

imageI am the founder of a programme called SZIFON (A Szülő Is Fontos – The Parent is also Important). Our aim is to support parents of different knowledge and values to share and seek guidance from each other in this inclusive community. I got my university degree in agronomics and before I dedicated myself to the leadership of the SZIFON organisation, I was employed in various positions in my field, however my deep interest in and affection for children and their education and care was so great that when I turned 30 I got two additional degree, day care nurse and children educator and caregiver. A serious illness forced me to think it through if I am truly doing what I love the most. That’s when I decided that it is time to change and slowly but surely the support program for average but not perfect parents took its form, where parents and SZIFON experts (special education teacher, special needs developer, family pedagogue and kindergarten teacher etc.) can find each other. There is a lot of work in this programme but also lots of love and soul. Life is so short that it is not worth to occupy ourselves with things that do not come from our hearts and do not give us happiness. The SZIFON team is a living example of this good mood, freedom and the feeling of community, which started to play an increasingly important part in the isolated way of today's living.

Spanish promotional video

In order to introduce the NEST project, a promotional video was created and broadcasted at the International Congress "Educating Minds and Talents" that took place in Madrid on 22, 23 and 24 November 2013 . The successfull conference was attended by 500 early childhood education teachers and further 300 followed it online.

The video is available on Youtube Channel "AMEIenClase" in SPANISH.


Recommended readings




On behalf of all of us in the NEST project,

best wishes for a peaceful holiday season and a joyous new year!



Keep in touch and help extend the network!

We would like to invite you

  • to check out our website and let us know how can we support your work if you are working on the field of Early Childhood Education and Care in any position or
  • join our online community to have the opportunity to reach fellow ECEC professionals and fellow researchers from all over Europe.

Meet your colleagues at the NEST Online Community at

or contact your national representative:


Contact person

Innovation in Learning Institute, Friedrich Alexander University, Erlangen – Nürnberg, Germany

Renate Hahner, coordinator

University of Macerata, Macerata, Italy

Laura Fedeli,

Scienter Espana, Granada, Spain

Begona Arenas,

Amitié Research Center, Bologna, Italy

Svenja Pokorny,

IPAK Institute for Symbolic Analysis and Development of Information Technologies, Velenje, Slovenia

Stanko Blatnik,

EDUCODE National Center for Professional Development in Education, Tampere, Finland

Marko Lahtinen,

AMEI WAECE – World Association of Early Childhood Educators, Madrid, Spain

Elvira Sanchez Igual,

European Distance and E-Learning Network - EDEN, Milton Keyes, United Kingdom

Eva Szalma,

Militos Consulting SA, Athens, Greece

Kyriakos Lingas,

Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Budapest, Hungary

Denes Zarka,

Last updated 3278 days ago by EDEN News