Early childhood education and care (ECEC) as social innovation tool? Insights from a multi-site case study carried out in Emilia-Romagna Region

Arianna Lazzari


There is an increasing consensus in international academic and policy debates that accessible and high quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) can play a crucial role in tackling social and cultural inequalities. Nevertheless, the contextualised conditions within which ECEC services are operating at local level – conditions upon which the success of such initiatives in closing the educational gap and promoting social cohesion is critically relying on – are rarely investigated. The multi-site case study on the integrated system of ECEC in Emilia-Romagna carried out within the European project INNOSI addresses such research gap by analysing – within a systemic perspective – the experimental initiatives and practices elaborated by early childhood institutions in order to meet responsively the needs of children, families and local communities. The case study findings presented in this article examine and critically review the challenges and success factors characterising ECEC services as tools for promoting social innovation.

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.1970-2221/7635

Copyright (c) 2017 Arianna Lazzari

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