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European Innovative Teaching Award

Multilingual Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) for Young Refugee Children

School: Sardes BV


Topic(s) addressed

The project aimed to improve the quality of ECEC for young refugee children by providing educators, child care professionals and policy makers with new tools.

Target groups

In addition to the core team, the indirect beneficiaries of the project included local and national policy makers, researchers, and representatives of child care organisations (and schools) in the field. The project’s primary (ultimate) target group were young refugee children and their parents. Moreover, the project team also aimed at strengthening the skills of ECEC professionals (preschool teachers, caretakers) who worked with refugee children. Finally, the project included policy-makers as a target group, given the lack in specific policies for refugee ECEC.


An important deliverable was the provision of teaching materials by teachers in the form of scenarios. Reflective questions were seen as an excellent tool that allowed trainees to think and reflect, which placed them within a more active learning mode. Guided by country reports, the project compiled a list of quality indicators and directly connected said indicators to training materials that were being developed, which were distributed at the start of the final conference. These materials were indicated by participantd as being especially useful.


The interactive Toolbox was developed by educators/researchers and is available on the project website. Participants at the final conference indicated that this was an interesting and innovative way of training that was more interactive, as opposed to traditional trainer-to-trainee knowledge transfer.


A per-country description of the actual ECEC situation for refugee children (both legislation and practice) was developed (country reports), followed by an analysis of high-quality ECEC for this particular target group (Quality Indicators), and finally material were developed for ECEC professionals working with young refugee children (the Toolbox). Moreover, Cambridge University had applied for the funding of an impact study, ‘Hiraeth’ (July-Dec 2019) in order to organise workshops for recently-arrived adolescent refugees in Cambridge, as well as a participant-led radio programme towards developing a sense of ‘home and belonging,’ and to improve their language skills. The effectiveness of the MyRef Toolkit was evaluated during the project, and the Toolkit’s training materials expanded. Sardes, a member of the Consortium Vluchtelingenpeuters, (Consortium Refugee Toddlers) was granted a budget by ISSA to organise a workshop with the aim of presenting MyREF material to ISSA members, discuss its potential use in other countries, and opportunities for its translation into other languages. Through a grant from the Kinderopvangfonds (Child Care Fund), the consortium prepared an e-learning material so as to train preschool teachers working with young refugee children. This MyREF material also forms part of the e-learning package. Longer-term benefits include interest shown by the Refugee Trauma Initiative in Greece of MyREF’s material and teacher training approaches, with preliminary plans being made for potential cooperation in the future.

Project category
Early childhood education and care
Project year

Érdekelt felek


Oslo Metropolitan University


The Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge

United Kingdom

Vernieuwing in de Basisvoorziening voor Jonge Kinderen