This article provides an overview of Italian ECEC services, their development and educational culture. In Italy, out of home day care for children under 3 became a quantitatively significant phenomenon in the last 30 years. Its development was characterized by the close collaboration between research agencies and ECEC services. A rich variety of studies on early education was produced. Some themes appear particularly relevant with regard to their implications for educational practice. The relationship between ECEC personnel and parents was considered a central issue in guaranteeing the quality of the children's experience and ECEC services were found to be an important resource of social support to parents. Since the beginning of ECEC experience in Italy, both educational practices and research have paid a particular attention to peer interaction inside the services, with a specific focus to the effect of contextual variables on their frequency and quality. Another major research theme was the evaluation of ECEC quality. In Italian experiences, evaluating ECEC quality was considered a dynamic and continuous process, involving a plurality of stakeholders (decision-makers, managers, ECEC personnel and parents) and was aimed at analysing, discussing, and improving the educational practice.
Early Education in Italy: Research and Practice
International journal of early childhood 42 (2010): 141–153. doi:10.1007/s13158-010-0011-9
info:cnr-pdr/source/autori:Musatti, T., Picchio, M./titolo:Early Education in Italy: Research and Practice/doi:10.1007/s13158-010-0011-9/rivista:International journal of early childhood/anno:2010/pagina_da:141/pagina_a:153/intervallo_pagine:141–153/volume