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Access to affordable quality services

Evidence-Based Practices
User-Registry Practices

Enhance family support and the quality of alternative care settings

Centres for Families Choose translations of the previous link 
Italy

Municipal Centres for Families are local facilities offering practical services for families with children who face everyday problems, such as the difficulty of reconciling work and family. These centres, located mostly in the Italian region of Emilia Romagna, primarily support young couples, single parents and immigrant families – the latter of which are often not fully integrated into the local society. Municipal Centres are also frequently meeting places for groups of families who enrol in discussion groups addressing work–life balance. The Centres are part of the municipal system of social services and are coordinated and financed by the Emilia Romagna Region. In recent years, however, five other regional centres have joined the core Municipal Centre group, following Emilia Romagna’s example.

Community Mothers Choose translations of the previous link 
Ireland, 1989

The Community Mothers’ Programme was first started in 1988 in Dublin by the Health Service Executive, a public organization responsible for the provision of healthcare and personal social services for everyone living in Ireland.

The programme targets first-time parents living in disadvantaged areas and is aimed at providing support and encouragement to first-time parents through home visits from “community mothers”.

It focuses on promoting parent capacity and parent empowerment, specifically by developing of parenting skills and enhancing parents’ self-esteem. Some of the methods used include the promotion of parents’ potential through a behavioural approach in which parents are encouraged to stimulate, breast-feed, and praise their children, as well as ensure their safety. The Community Mothers Programme also uses illustrated sequences to trigger discussions on healthy and developmentally appropriate means of coping with various child-rearing challenges.

Community mothers are volunteers who were first identified by local public health nurses. They are then interviewed by a regional family development nurse to assess their suitability. After being identified as suitable candidates, community mothers undergo four weeks of training before starting to work under the guidance of a family development nurse. This training focuses on health care, nutritional improvement and overall child development. The work of community mothers consists in monitoring between five and fifteen families during monthly home visits during the first year of the child’s life (Johnson, Z., Howell, F., and Molloy, B., 1993).

Ecce Ama!: Child Care in Learning Networks Choose translations of the previous link 
Belgium

Ecce ama!, which is a programme of Belgium’s Resource and Research Centre for Early Childcare and Education (VBJK), develops training modules to prepare low- skilled men and women for jobs in the childcare sector – more specifically for a job as family day care provider-childminder – or for employment in local child care initiatives in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

The project also prepares trainers, managers and early childcare practitioners to work with disadvantaged and socially deprived groups (such as lower educated or lower skilled men and women) who frequently experience difficulties in accessing services for young children.

Ecce ama! focuses on developing training tools and preparing managers, practitioners and trainers to work with high risk groups on the labour market. In addition, getting men involved in early child care, improving the overall quality of employment in child care and making childcare more accessible to socially disadvantaged groups are targets of the Belgian (Flemish) project.

Ecce ama! attaches major importance to guiding people towards quality childcare that is accessible to all parents and children.

European Early Promotion Project Choose translations of the previous link 
Finland, Greece, United Kingdom, Cyprus, 1999  - 2014

The European Early Promotion Project (EEPP) was an experimental service to promote children’s mental health and prevent the onset of psychosocial problems in children aged 0-2.  The intervention was integrated into the primary health care systems at particular sites within the capital cities of Cyprus (Nicosia), Finland (Tampere), Greece (Athens), Serbia (Belgrade), and the UK (London).  The EEPP consists in a cross-cultural method of engaging primary health care professionals (PHCPs) in Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Serbia, and the UK to work with families to promote the psychosocial well-being and development of infants at risk of mental health problems by helping parents adapt and interact to their new parenting situation.  The EEPP approach to preventing the onset of child mental health difficulties was as much psychosocial as physical.  In addition, it relied on the premise that a positive parent-helper relationship is instrumental to effective family support.  The programme trained primary health care workers to conduct promotional interviews with prospective mothers 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after birth, to identify those in need of parenting skills support, and to provide counsel and guidance to families ‘in-need’ for as long as necessary over a 24 month period.

Financial Support for Pregnant Women in Need - Mother and Child Foundation Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 1984

The German Federal Foundation “Mother and Child – Protection of Unborn Life” was established in 1984. It provides additional, easily accessible financial support to struggling mothers-to-be, aiming to make it easier for them to go ahead with childbirth.  Since its creation, the foundation has supported about 150,000 pregnant women in need every year – about one fifth of all expectant mothers in Germany. Between 2006 and 2009, roughly two thirds of recipients were German, while one third were citizens of other countries. Only 3% of recipients were under 18 years old.

Gepetto Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2001

Gepetto (Garde d’Enfant Pour l’Equilibre du Temps professionnel, du Temps familial et son Organisation – Childcare for a balance between working life, family life and its organisation) is a childcare system for children between 0 and 13 years of age provided at families’ homes at times when no other facilities can meet the childcare requirement. It was designed mainly to assist parents working in sectors with unsocial working hours such as catering, hotels, retailing, intermittent workers in show-business, and public transport workers. It also concerns parents who travel for work, or who have to look after sick children (turned away from a nursery or who cannot go to school), or a breakdown in the usual childcare mode (nursery closed, child-minder sick or absent …). Gepetto complements the other childcare modes that already exist: nurseries, approved child-minders, non-residential leisure centres, after-school care. This mode of childcare is available 7 days a week, day and night at the parents’ home. The work is carried out by childcare professionals (kindergarten teachers, early childhood workers and people with a certificate of professional competence in child-minding). Gepetto aims to recruit professionals qualified to look after young children, and guarantees them a certain level of pay and inclusion in a collective labour agreement. Several Gepetto franchises have been opened in France, covering eight départements of France, in the north, east and south of the country. They constitute the Gepetto network, but operate independently and under different names.

Gesunde Kitas – starke Kinder Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 2008

The gesunde KITAs – starke Kinder, or Healthy Nursery Centers - Strong Children program’s goal is to fight the childhood obesity epidemic in Germany by prevention, particularly among pre-school children. In order to do so, the program teaches children a mix of balanced nutrition, movement, and relaxation, and also fosters an ongoing health dialogue with parents. As opposed to previous anti-obesity programs, Healthy Nurseries puts a strong emphasis on ex-ante prevention and teaching of a healthy way of living, by connecting and integrating the four project components outlined above. After an initial introductory phase of 12-15 months, the components become part of the center’s daily routine. Final implementation is at the discretion of the program staff at a particular site.

Global Provision of Services of CAF Morbihan Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2005

Since 2005, the Morbihan Caisse d’Allocations Familiales [Family Allowance Fund] (CAF) in France has been facing the challenge of providing the department’s users with a different and unique service. The policies implemented are based on the payment of financial benefits and on social action targeted at families, thereby contributing to stability for families and their children and supporting them during times of hardship.  This strategy of assisting families is known as the “global provision of services”. The aim is to provide global and appropriate responses to the diversity of situations and needs of beneficiaries and to develop solidarity with the most vulnerable families.

Good Parent Good Start Choose translations of the previous link 
Poland, 2007

‘Good Parent - Good Start’ is a programme to protect young children (up to the age of three) from abuse. The idea is to help parents bring up their children without violence by offering them free access to educational resources and support services. It is a programme for parents expecting children or parents of young children up to three years old to help them bring up their children without violence/smacking. The programme is run by a Polish NGO called the Nobody''s Children Foundation (NCF), which has been working with children abused by parents or relatives since 1991.

Hand-in-Hand for Child Support Choose translations of the previous link 
Latvia, 2008  - 2010

The overall objective of “Hand-in-hand”, which began in 2008 and ends in 2010, is to develop mechanisms that detect when support for students and their families is needed – and that these students and families receive timely, relevant assistance. One way of achieving this goal is a new software tool that tracks students’ behaviour at school. Previously in Latvia there had not been established criteria for assessing students’ behaviour. The pilot project will establish a uniform system for assessing records of pupils’ behaviour and study results, and promote the dissemination of this good practice example to other schools. Another concrete tool which has been developed during the project is specialised computer software for assessing pupils’ behaviour. Since September 2009 this software, called ‘E-klase’, has been implemented in three grades in schools in Cesis. It has also been applied by 16 pedagogues in 5 different schools, reaching 318 children. With the aid of this computer program a child’s parents receive information about their behaviour. In this way, the Cesis project works to improve cooperation of students, parents, schools and other local government institutions in order to solve different everyday issues regarding children and his or her family. It also helps educators cultivate a positive environment for cooperation within the family context. Specialists from Ukraine, Belarus and Finland visited Cesis in order to get acquainted with the project and to offer their own experience about further linking family and education.

Home-Start Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Hungary, Norway, France, Denmark, Ireland, 1973

The Home-Start program is a home visiting intervention in which volunteers with child care experience give support to struggling families with children younger than five years of age. Home-Start targets families and mothers with little experience or social support network, who may have minor but not serious physical or mental health issues. Entry and exit to the Home-Start programme is entirely voluntary and all visits are at the convenience of participating families. It aims to reduce the stress of parenting and encourage families, especially families at risk for child abuse and neglect, so that a nurturing environment for their children may be created.

A Home-Start volunteer from the local community visits the family home for a few hours each week until the youngest child turns five or the family decides to exit from the program. On average, volunteers visit families for 6 months, and visits last for around 3-4 hours. The volunteers give emotional support and assistance with household tasks and outings as needed by each family. The volunteers provide friendship, encouragement, and an example of affectionate child care behaviour.

The program was founded in 1973 in the UK and has expanded into 22 countries around the world, including the Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Hungary, and The Netherlands. There are 314 local schemes of Home-Start UK located in the United Kingdom and in British Forces Germany and Cyprus.

Involving Parents in the Education of their Children Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2008

'La Mallette des parents' [the parents' briefcase] is an ongoing project that is aimed at involving parents more in their children's education in around 80 schools. It is run by the Academie Creteil, which comes under the direct authority of the France's Ministry for Education. The Academie Creteil's responsibilities include regular inspections of schools in its catchment area, which is Seine et Marne, Seine St Denis and Val de Marne, close to Paris. It was set up to improve relations between parents and teachers to help parents understand more about how their child is taught so that they can contribute to their child's success at school. Project coordinator Marc Dreyfuss is in charge of a permanent working group of about ten or so people. He follows the different projects in each school and works on future ideas for the project as a whole.

Long-Running Parental Education Website Choose translations of the previous link 
Austria, 2001

Austria's Federal Ministry of the Economy, Family and Youth has been fully funding and running a parental education website since 2001. Initially, the website was part of an awareness-raising campaign to introduce the concept of parental education to mothers and fathers and to encourage them to sign up for parental education programmes. The aim of parental education is to help ensure that children are brought up in a violence-free environment and to prevent difficulties in daily parent-child relations. The website, which is free of charge, provides information about the significance of parental education and provides opportunities for exchanges with other parents and experts. In addition, weekly news items, monthly focuses and literature and tips for weblinks encourage further reading.

Netherlands Youth Institute Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 2007

The Netherlands Youth Institute (Dutch: Nederlands Jeugdinstituut) is the Dutch national institute for compiling, verifying and disseminating knowledge on children, parenting and families. Its main aim is to improve the physical, cognitive, mental and social development of children and young people by improving the quality and effectiveness of the services rendered to them and to their parents or carers. Its main areas of expertise include:

•Effective parenting and healthy child developments

•Challenges in parenting and child development

•Guidelines, effective interventions and instruments

•Strengthening professionals working with children and families

•The child welfare system, its purpose and functions

As such, the institute covers areas such as child and youth welfare, youth care, health, justice and children's development and well-being. It is the Dutch national specialist on parenting support, community schools, child abuse and early child education.

Netmums: Local Online Parenting Information Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2000

Set up in 2000, Netmums is an online parenting organisation in the UK, which has notched up 700,000 members and has 15,000 new members joining up each month. The organisation is a family of local websites that span the country. Each local website offers information essential to life as a mother to children. This includes where to find childminders and playgroups, how to eat healthily and even where to meet other mothers. Netmums receives funding through the ‘Parent Know How programme’ , which is supported by UK government’s Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Programme Choose translations of the previous link 
, 1980

The Newborn Individualized Developmental Care and Assessment Programme (NIDCAP) offers an individualized and nurturing approach to the care of infants in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and special care nurseries (SCN). It is a relationship-based, family-centered approach that promotes the idea that infants and their families are collaborators in developing an individualized program of support to maximize physical, mental, and emotional growth and health and to improve long-term outcomes for preterm and high medical risk newborns.

The therapeutic framework and method of NIDCAP provides early developmental support and preventive intervention, beginning immediately with birth. Numerous premature infants are born during or before the last trimester of gestation (beginning around 24 weeks), which is an exceedingly critical period for brain development. The infant's sensory experience in the environment of the NICU and SCN, including exposure to bright lights, high sound levels, frequent stressful and painful interventions, and diminished positive experiences, presents unexpected challenges to the immature brain during this sensitive period.

The goal of the NIDCAP approach is to minimize the mismatch between the immature brain's expectations and the over-stimulating environment. In turn, NIDCAP seeks to improve brain development and long-term outcomes. The NIDCAP approach uses methods of detailed documentation of an infant's ongoing communication to teach parents and caregivers skills in observing an individual infant's behavioral signals. These sometimes subtle signals provide the basis for interpreting what the infant is trying to communicate and can be used to guide parents and caregivers to adapt all interaction and care to be supportive of the infant's behavior. Suggestions for care are made in support of the infant's self-regulation, calmness, well-being, and strengths and the infant's sense of competence and effectiveness. Such suggestions begin with support, nurturance, and respect for the infant's parents and family, who are the primary co-regulators of the infant's development; and the suggestions extend to the atmosphere and ambiance of nursery space, the organization and layout of the infant's care space, and the structuring and delivery of specific medical and nursing care procedures and specialty care. These practices ensure that a developmental perspective and an infant's environment are incorporated into the infant's care (see Als, 1995).

New Deal for Lone Parents Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 1998  - 2011

There are 1.84 million lone parents in Great Britain, with over 1 million of these in work. The majority of remaining lone parents can claim Income Support (the main income replacement benefit for lone parents) or other out of work benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance. Currently there are around 700,000 lone parents claiming Income Support and over half of them are unemployed. For the past twelve years, the British government has been trying to address this problem through the New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP) programme. It is a voluntary programme that aims to help and encourage lone parents to improve their job readiness and employment opportunities and gain independence through working. Those eligible to join the programme include all lone parents aged 16 or over whose youngest child is under 16, those who are not working, or are working less than 16 hours per week and receive Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance.

Opstap Opnieuw (Step-up Anew) Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 1995

The Opstap Opnieuw programme is a home-based intervention developed from the Israeli Home Instruction Programme for Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) for the Dutch context.  The two-year programme aims to improve the cognitive and language skills, numeracy, mother-child interactions, and socio-emotional development of young children, aged 4 to 6, who are at risk of early academic failure based on low socio-economic background or ethnic minority status. The programme materials were particularly developed for Turkish and Moroccan families, in their native languages.  The programme consists of a structured “curriculum” of short-term goals and related activities that increase in complexity over time.  The curriculum is presented in textual and pictorial weekly instructions and worksheets along with supplemental materials such as audiotapes and pencils, totalling 150 planned 20-minute activities for 30 weeks of the year, for two years.  The mothers are supported by paraprofessional aides who were also mothers from the local and ethnic community.  The paraprofessionals visit the families biweekly while the programme was in session to give instruction, support, monitor that program activities were taking place, and monitor the progress of the mother and child.  A few paraprofessionals conducted meetings of a small group of mothers instead of visiting their homes.  There are additionally monthly group meetings for participating mothers to provide information about authoritative, emotionally supportive, sensitive-responsive mother-child interaction styles.  The program was developed in the Netherlands in the 1990’s and continues to operate today.  The program is operated by the Averroès Foundation.

 

Parental Training Group Sessions Choose translations of the previous link 
Portugal, 2007

Portugal’s Associação Nacional para a Acção Familiar (ANJAF), a non-profit association whose aim is to encourage solidarity between young people, their families and the community, has been running a parental training project since 2007. The main aim is to increase the knowledge and skills of parents (or anyone with a parental role) and to raise awareness about the importance of parental figures in the development of children/youth. All the parental training sessions are free of charge for fathers, mothers or staff that provide support to families. Usually the individual attends either a seven hour or a three hour session. Several three hour workshops on different subjects can be held for the same group if there is an interest in doing that. Flexible hours for training sessions All the sessions are scheduled in advance and can take place during office hours (for staff at their workplace or for unemployed parents or) or after work. The workshops are usually one session of three hours with a break in the middle. Longer training sessions are usually split into two sessions of 3.5 hours. Whenever ANJAF’s sessions are not carried out for a specific organisation, they are always advertised on its website and in ANJAF’s newsletters. 39 training sessions in two years.

Parenting Young Children Choose translations of the previous link 
Sweden, 2010

Parenting Young Children (PYC) was developed by the Parenting Research Centre as an education program to help parents with intellectual disability develop skills and confidence in parenting tasks. The skills include basic child care such as feeding, sleeping and safety, and parent–child interactions. PYC is a home-based intensive parent education programme, ideally structured around weekly sessions. Parents are taught to plan stimulating play and learning activities, engaging the child in these activities through positive attention, praise, descriptive statements and modelling. The programme also teaches parents to acquire and maintain skills in childcare, food preparation and handling, meal-time issues, shopping, nutrition, bathing, bedtime and sleeping, personal hygiene, health monitoring, emergency management, safety and living space maintenance.  Since each programme is individually tailored based on parent-driven goals, and as all parents have their own individual learning pace, there is no predetermined session length or number of sessions.

Information drawn from Mikaela Starke, Catherine Wade, Maurice A Feldman, and Robyn Mildon. "Parenting with disabilities: Experiences from implementing a parenting support programme in Sweden."
Journal of Intellectual Disabilities,June 2013, vol. 17 no. 2. pp. 145-156

Parents' Briefcase Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2008

La Mallette des parents' [the parents' briefcase] is an ongoing project that aims to involve parents more in their children's education in around 80 schools in France. It is run by the Academie de Creteil, which comes under the direct authority of the France's Ministry for Education. The programme was set up to improve relations between parents and teachers and to help parents understand more about how their child is taught so that they can contribute to their child's success at school.

Pregnancy Counselling Choose translations of the previous link 
Estonia, 2007

The Estonian Pregnancy Crisis Counselling project aims to develop a country-wide service which respects each person’s right to personal family planning decisions and meets strict confidentiality and anonymity requirements.The Pregnancy Crisis Counselling service offers psychological support and information on various topics in addition to pregnancy, such as conflict in marriage, how to be a supportive mother or father, infertility issues, domestic violence during pregnancy, and mourning in case of the death of a child or an adult.

Preparing for Life Choose translations of the previous link 
Ireland, 2000

Preparing for Life (PFL) is a five-year home visiting program targeted at disadvantaged families with children, beginning at pregnancy until the child starts school at age four or five. PFL home visitors provides families with developmental toys for children and public health information on stress control and eating habits, facilitates access to enhanced preschool, and provides access to  and a support worker that provides information on public services. Additionally, the programme includes weekly home visits that last between 30 minutes to two hours from a trained mentor and a portion of the Triple P group parent training. The home visiting portion focuses on providing parents with general support and help with parenting issues. The Triple P Positive Parent programme that parents receive a portion of is a separate programme that was integrated into PFL and occurs when the child is two-years old and lasts for eight weeks, consisting of four two-hour in-person sessions, three phone support sessions, and one culminating group session about positive parenting. PFL was developed in 2004 and has served about 200 families.

STOP4-7 Choose translations of the previous link 
Belgium, Netherlands, 2000

STOP4-7 is an early intervention for children (aged 4 to 7) with (serious) behavioral problems. The programme consists of three group training interventions: for the children (10 whole day sessions), the parents (10 2-hour sessions) and the teachers (4 3-hour sessions) involved. Besides these training sessions,  homevisits and schoolvisits are also part of the programme.  The first phase consists of training sessions (three months): learning of skills and enhancing parents and teachers. Some home and school visits help to individualize the learning process. The second phase (home and school visits; three months) is aimed at strenghtening the changes accomplished in the first phase. To help children grow up in a prosocial way it is necessary to include parents and teachers to help them, by changing their living and learning environment.

Triple P - Positive Parenting Programme Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, Switzerland, 1999

The Triple P—Positive Parenting Programme is a multilevel system of family intervention that aims to prevent severe emotional and behavioral disturbances in children by promoting positive and nurturing relationships between parent and child.  According to the Triple P developers, apart from improving parenting skills, "the programme aims to increase parents' sense of competence in their parenting abilities, improve couples' communication about parenting, and reduce parenting stress. The acquisition of specific parenting competencies results in improved family communication and reduced conflict that in turn reduces the risk that children will develop a variety of behavioral and emotional problems" (Sanders, Turner, et al., 2002).

The programme has five intervention levels of increasing intensity and targeting, ranging from a community-wide media information campaign designed to reach all parents to an intervention for families identified as being at risk for child maltreatment.  The programme aims to engage the participating parent in the minimally sufficient intervention required in order to identify and improve parenting skills (Sanders, 1999).

This summary focuses on “Level 4” of the five levels, because this is the only level that has been evaluated in studies that meet the evidence criteria for inclusion on this site.  Level 4 can be delivered as a 10 session individual training programme or an 8 session group training programme focusing on teaching parents a range of parenting skills to target behavioral problems both in and outside the home.

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Improve education systems’ impact on equal opportunities

European Early Promotion Project Choose translations of the previous link 
Finland, Greece, United Kingdom, Cyprus, 1999  - 2014

The European Early Promotion Project (EEPP) was an experimental service to promote children’s mental health and prevent the onset of psychosocial problems in children aged 0-2.  The intervention was integrated into the primary health care systems at particular sites within the capital cities of Cyprus (Nicosia), Finland (Tampere), Greece (Athens), Serbia (Belgrade), and the UK (London).  The EEPP consists in a cross-cultural method of engaging primary health care professionals (PHCPs) in Cyprus, Finland, Greece, Serbia, and the UK to work with families to promote the psychosocial well-being and development of infants at risk of mental health problems by helping parents adapt and interact to their new parenting situation.  The EEPP approach to preventing the onset of child mental health difficulties was as much psychosocial as physical.  In addition, it relied on the premise that a positive parent-helper relationship is instrumental to effective family support.  The programme trained primary health care workers to conduct promotional interviews with prospective mothers 6 weeks before and 6 weeks after birth, to identify those in need of parenting skills support, and to provide counsel and guidance to families ‘in-need’ for as long as necessary over a 24 month period.

Helping Autism Sufferers Live and Work Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, Slovenia, Hungary, 2010  - 2012

A Slovenian NGO called 'The Centre for Autism' is in the middle of a two-year EU-funded project looking at how far autism respite centres can help young adults suffering from autism spectrum disorders in their working life and with social contact in general. At the end of the project in 2012, an evaluation will be carried out based on the results of work done in autism centres in Slovenia, Hungary and the UK. Researchers estimate that about 1% of the population are affected by autism disorders. Sufferers typically struggle to hold down a job and lack social and communication skills.

Improving Preschool Teacher Training Choose translations of the previous link 
Denmark, 2010

The Department of Education at Aarhus University in Denmark is leading a four-year (2010-13) project to improve preschool teacher training so that children's emotional and intellectual needs are better looked after from an early age. Another aim is help day care centre staff develop techniques to ensure that all children play a full part in their group of children, also known as 'social inclusion'. The Danish government is providing just over one million euro of funding. The main difficulty being tackled is that many Danish children whose parents are poor, unemployed, have no education or are on welfare are at a greater risk of having developmental and wellbeing problems and of being excluded from society in later life. The project is being carried out with three Danish preschool teacher training colleges and is aimed at 120 day care centres developing new practices for children aged between three and six years old. These colleges run training courses for directors of day care centres and one member of staff. The Department of Education runs seminars just for the directors. The cost (travel and paid time off) of sending the staff and directors to these events is picked up by the four Danish municipalities involved in the project. Over the three years of the project, a director and one member of staff from each day care centre will have spent 17 days on training courses and directors will have spent another six days on seminars with other directors. Of the one million euro from the Danish government, one third of this is being used for the courses and seminars; a third for a study on the effects of the project and a third on analysis and administration.

Integrated Centre for Childcare Choose translations of the previous link 
Lithuania, 2005  - 2007

Since 1990, the number of childcare facilities in Lithuania has fallen from more than 1800 in 1990 to only 672 by 2008. The decline was particularly pronounced in rural areas, where they have been reduced from 805 to 183 (compared with a decline from 1003 to 489 in urban areas). A village kindergarten near Vilnius has shown that it is possible to reduce stress on parents and improve education and care for children by integrating several services in a single facility. Childcare facilities in Lithuania are normally open for between 10.5 and 12 hours per day for five days a week. The Peledziukas Kindergarten is located in a village nearby Vilnius and is run by the regional municipality. As most other kindergartens it has always provided both childcare and education services all day (07:00 to 17:30) for children from three to seven years old. Since 2005, through participation in the ‘FORWARD: Seima ir darbas suderinami (Family and Work Reconciliation Development)’ project funded under the EU’s EQUAL programme, the Peledziukas Kindergarten has extended its hours. It now remains open overnight from 17:30 to 07:00 in order to meet the needs (assessed by survey) of parents who work evenings or nights. These services have been taken up by around 20 families with children at the centre.

Involving Parents in the Education of their Children Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2008

'La Mallette des parents' [the parents' briefcase] is an ongoing project that is aimed at involving parents more in their children's education in around 80 schools. It is run by the Academie Creteil, which comes under the direct authority of the France's Ministry for Education. The Academie Creteil's responsibilities include regular inspections of schools in its catchment area, which is Seine et Marne, Seine St Denis and Val de Marne, close to Paris. It was set up to improve relations between parents and teachers to help parents understand more about how their child is taught so that they can contribute to their child's success at school. Project coordinator Marc Dreyfuss is in charge of a permanent working group of about ten or so people. He follows the different projects in each school and works on future ideas for the project as a whole.

Kiva Antibullying Programme Choose translations of the previous link 
Finland, 2007

The KiVa programme is a school-wide approach to decreasing the incidence and negative effects of bullying on student well-being at school.  The programme’s impact is measured through self and peer-rated reports of bullying, victimization, defending victims, feeling empathy towards victims, bystanders reinforcing bullying behaviour, anxiety, self-esteem, depression, liking school, and academic motivation and performance, among other factors.  The programme is based on the idea that how peer bystanders behave when witnessing bullying plays a critical role in perpetuating or ending the incident.  As a result, the intervention is designed to modify peer attitudes, perceptions, and understanding of bullying.  The programme specifically encourages students to support victimised peers rather than embolden bullying behaviour and, furthermore, provides teachers and parents with information about how to prevent and address the incidence of bullying.

Opstap Opnieuw (Step-up Anew) Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 1995

The Opstap Opnieuw programme is a home-based intervention developed from the Israeli Home Instruction Programme for Preschool Youngsters (HIPPY) for the Dutch context.  The two-year programme aims to improve the cognitive and language skills, numeracy, mother-child interactions, and socio-emotional development of young children, aged 4 to 6, who are at risk of early academic failure based on low socio-economic background or ethnic minority status. The programme materials were particularly developed for Turkish and Moroccan families, in their native languages.  The programme consists of a structured “curriculum” of short-term goals and related activities that increase in complexity over time.  The curriculum is presented in textual and pictorial weekly instructions and worksheets along with supplemental materials such as audiotapes and pencils, totalling 150 planned 20-minute activities for 30 weeks of the year, for two years.  The mothers are supported by paraprofessional aides who were also mothers from the local and ethnic community.  The paraprofessionals visit the families biweekly while the programme was in session to give instruction, support, monitor that program activities were taking place, and monitor the progress of the mother and child.  A few paraprofessionals conducted meetings of a small group of mothers instead of visiting their homes.  There are additionally monthly group meetings for participating mothers to provide information about authoritative, emotionally supportive, sensitive-responsive mother-child interaction styles.  The program was developed in the Netherlands in the 1990’s and continues to operate today.  The program is operated by the Averroès Foundation.

 

Parents' Briefcase Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2008

La Mallette des parents' [the parents' briefcase] is an ongoing project that aims to involve parents more in their children's education in around 80 schools in France. It is run by the Academie de Creteil, which comes under the direct authority of the France's Ministry for Education. The programme was set up to improve relations between parents and teachers and to help parents understand more about how their child is taught so that they can contribute to their child's success at school.

Prevention of Smoking in adolescents with Lower Education Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 2012

This intervention was based on peer group pressure and social influence to prevent smoking.  The intervention focused on students in junior secondary education (this is what is meant by ‘lower education’ in the title) and was implemented in twenty six schools throughout the Netherlands. It consisted of three lessons on knowledge, attitudes, and social influence, followed by a class agreement not to start or to stop smoking for five months and a class based competition. Admission to the competition was dependent on having a class with less than 10% smokers after five months. The intervention is similar to the Smokefree Class Competition programme implemented across 22 European countries. The authors added some lessons on attitude and social influence. Two extra video lessons on smoking and social influence were available as an optional extra during these five months. Researchers approached these schools directly and gave them a brief explanation about the intervention in order to motivate them to participate. Eighteen schools agreed to do so. The other eight schools (26 in total) were recruited through four other community health services that approached the schools themselves. Baseline data was obtained through questionnaires administered directly to the students. Data for background characteristics was also obtained through these questionnaires. The Dutch National Institute against Smoking (Stivoro) and The Dutch National Institute on mental Health and Addiction (Trimbos Institute) developed and conducted the intervention together with the schools. Stivoro looked at the adherence of schools to the intervention protocol, and collected the registration forms and other documents.  Evaluation was conducted by the authors of this paper.

 

Last updated 
March, 2014

Second Step Violence Prevention Programme Choose translations of the previous link 
, 1992

"Second Step: A Violence Prevention Programme" is a classroom-based social skills curriculum for students from preschool through middle school. The curriculum aims to reduce impulsive and aggressive behaviors and increase protective factors and social-emotional competence. Organized by grade level, the programme teaches children empathy, problem-solving skills, risk assessment, decision-making, and goal-setting skills. The Second Step programme is classified as a universal intervention, meaning that it is appropriate for whole classrooms of children and not just those at risk. In Norway, this programme has been translated and implemented as Steg for Steg.

Second Step lessons are organized into three skill-building units that focus on empathy, impulse control and problem solving, and anger management. Lessons are sequential, developmentally appropriate, and provide opportunities for modeling, practice, and skills reinforcement. The lessons are designed to be taught in the classroom setting twice a week (Holsen et al., 2008).

STOP4-7 Choose translations of the previous link 
Belgium, Netherlands, 2000

STOP4-7 is an early intervention for children (aged 4 to 7) with (serious) behavioral problems. The programme consists of three group training interventions: for the children (10 whole day sessions), the parents (10 2-hour sessions) and the teachers (4 3-hour sessions) involved. Besides these training sessions,  homevisits and schoolvisits are also part of the programme.  The first phase consists of training sessions (three months): learning of skills and enhancing parents and teachers. Some home and school visits help to individualize the learning process. The second phase (home and school visits; three months) is aimed at strenghtening the changes accomplished in the first phase. To help children grow up in a prosocial way it is necessary to include parents and teachers to help them, by changing their living and learning environment.

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Improve the responsiveness of health systems to address the needs of disadvantaged children

A Stop Smoking in Schools Trial (ASSIST) Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2001

A Stop Smoking in School Trial (ASSIST) is an intervention aimed at spreading and sustaining non-smoking behaviours through school social networks that targets children in grade 8 (12-13 years old).  The phases of the intervention include: 1) nomination of peer supporters, 2) recruitment of peer supporters,3) training of peer supporters, 4) intervention period, and 5) acknowledgement of peer supporters’ contributions. Potential peer supporters are first identified as students who received the most nominations on a questionnaire in which students identify influential peers. The 2-day training is conducted outside of school and focuses on teaching peer supporters how to have informal conversations with their peers about smoking. During the 10-week intervention period, peer supporters undertake informal conversations with other students about smoking and log their conversations. During the intervention, trainers provide additional support through four in-school visits. ASSIST was first pilot tested in 1996 in six schools in South Wales. Early Adopters started rolling out the programme in 2007 and in 2010, DECIPHer Impact Ltd, a non-profit spinout company was set up by the University of Bristol and Cardiff University to distribute ASSIST more widely. It is currently being implemented in 27 Local Authority areas across the United Kingdom including the whole of Wales, England and the Channel Islands. Scotland has recently announced that they are going to be setting up a pilot of ASSIST starting in 2014.

Early Intervention Centre Choose translations of the previous link 
Hungary, 1992

Children in Hungary with delayed or impaired development are being helped to reach their full potential thanks to a pioneering centre in Budapest. The Early Intervention Centre (EIC) provides a package of services for children aged 0-6 delivered by a group of specialists that focus on the development of the child as well as the needs and circumstances of the family. With a team of paediatricians, special teachers, physiotherapists, psychologists, social workers and integration specialists, the Centre provides a complete approach to care by combining all their staff’s knowledge to help families in need. The main goal of their activities is to ensure health and well-being of the child, to enhance families’ abilities in caring for their children and to minimise developmental delays. “Our approach can be considered as unique as several different experts work together in an interdisciplinary team built around the child,” says Barbara Czeizel, manager of the EIC. “We provide a diagnostic assessment of the children, where a group of our highly qualified professionals review the medical history and recent problems, and then examine the child using the latest methods. After evaluating the assessment results, we choose from our special therapies those that best suit the needs of the child.” The centre specialises in helping children with autism, with severe and multiple disabilities and premature babies. Specialists do this by working with parents as partners and taking care of their special needs too. Some of the therapies completely involve the parents whereas others just require them to attend and observe.

Escape Form child abuse screening Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 2008

The Escape Form and emergency room nurse training was a program aimed at increased screening for an early detection of child abuse. The program consisted of a new six question checklist to screen for child abuse and training sessions in the use of that form for emergency room nurses. It was implemented in late 2008 in four hospitals in the province of South Holland in the Netherlands.

Maximising Income Project Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2009  - 2012

Maximising Income project was developed to support families enrolled in the Home-Start program. Financial hardship is a key factor in the lives of many of the young families that Home-Start supports. The Maximising Income project was set up in response to this and to explore whether some of these families may not be accessing all the welfare benefits and charitable grants available to them. The main tools and services used to support families in the Maximising Income project were an online benefits checker and a grants search. A free, confidential telephone helpline was also used and this provided customised support to undertake benefits checks, grants searches and to provide support for using the online services.
Information drawn from Barrett, Helen, and Elizabeth Young. Working Together to Maximise Income for Families of Young Children: Evaluation Report. September 2011.

MEND: empowering children and adults to become fitter, healthier and happier and to reach or maintain a healthier weight Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2000

MEND offers free, evidence-based obesity prevention and treatment programmes in the local community for children aged 2-13. Established in 2004, the MEND Programme was devised by child obesity experts at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and the University College London Institute of Child Health, to help children and their families become fitter, healthier and happier. MEND works with local, regional and national partners to deliver over 400 programmes across the world which have benefitted over 20,000 families. In addition to MEND's healthy lifestyle programmes for children and their families, MEND offers class room resources, obesity management training for front-line staff and facilitated self-help programmes for adults. An independent study published in Obesity Journal in February found that children who attended the MEND Programme experienced long-term health benefits, including sustained weight loss and improvements in cardiovascular fitness and self-esteem.

Online Youth Friendly Clinic Choose translations of the previous link 
Sweden, 2008

The Swedish Online Youth Clinic (OMU) is a website whose overall aim is to improve young people’s access to information related to sexual health and gender issues. It was set up in November 2008 and is run by the ‘Council for Care’, a non-commercial organisation funded by the Swedish regions. In Sweden, most regions have youth clinics, which specialise in sexual health and psychiatric care and are staffed by a range of professionals including, midwifes, therapists and social workers. The success of these clinics led them to decide to set up a website, which young women and men aged between 13 and 25 can turn to for advice and services regarding birth control, pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease tests.

Oral health prevention programme Choose translations of the previous link 
Austria, 1998

Oral Health Prevention Program is a community-based preventive approach for improving oral health in preschool children. The program was implemented in Vorarlberg, Austria by providing new mothers with dental health counseling. Qualified dental health educators visited all mothers who gave birth in regional hospitals in Vorarlberg, Austria, counseling them regarding the oral health of their children. The single visit took place while mothers were still in the hospital. Mothers were given comprehensive oral hygiene instructions for their children and themselves, which included practical toothbrush training and dietary counseling by the use of brief motivational interviewing and anticipatory guidance approaches.
After 5 years, a case-cohort study was conducted to evaluate the program with annual check-ups of 471 children and parents survey. Dental caries was scored using WHO diagnostic criteria. Children whose mothers participated in the oral health promotion program showed significantly lower caries prevalence and experience than children whose mothers did not participate.

Risk Watch Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2012

Risk Watch is an injury prevention and safety education programme aimed at children ages three to 14 (the evaluation which studied the effects of the program assessed the impact of the program on children between the ages of 7 and 10 only).  Developed by the National Fire Protection Association in the USA and adapted for use in the UK, the program aims to develop children’s risk-assessment and injury-reduction skills .  The curriculum varies by age based on developmental stages as well as the risks faced by different age groups.  The program focuses on eight areas of injury prevention, including:

Risk Watch is designed to be flexible in its delivery; it can be integrated into a school’s core curriculum, or can be offered as a stand-alone unit.

Screening for language delay in toddlers Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 1995  - 1996

This National Department of Health screening program in the Netherlands applied a diagnostic questionnaire (the VroegTijdige Onderkenning Ontwikkelingsstoornissen Language Screening instrument; VTO) for language delays to parents and their toddlers aged 15-18 months and again at 24 months.  Children with positive screening indications were sent to speech and hearing centres for further assessment.  The speech and hearing centres then referred children to standard early treatment services as necessary.  55 child health centres in six geographic regions participated.  The child health centres provide free services from the Department of Health and are available to all Dutch children.

Smoke-free public places Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2005

In March of 2006, Scotland introduced legislation that prohibited smoking in most enclosed public places. Enclosed public places are those that are more than 50% covered, including for example bars, restaurants, offices and sports stadiums. Businesses covered by the smoking ban were required to have a smoke-free policy and to display a non-smoking sign at the building’s entrance. The effects of this ban on smoking in public places on schildren’s secondhand smoke expoure were evaluated in two longitudinal studies. Study authors examined whether children’s secondhand smoke exposure decreased subsequent to the legislation. They also examined whether the ban was associated with a displacement of smoking from public places into the home, an effect which would have deleterious consequences for children’s secondhand smoke exposure. Authors found a reduction in secondhand smoke exposure and did not find a concomitant increase in smoking in the home.

 

Sure Start Centres Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2004

Sure Start Children’s Centres are a vital part of the UK government’s ten-year strategy to offer wider access to affordable, flexible and high-quality childcare. Launched in 2004, the strategy also aims to develop the workforce involved in childcare in order to make it among the best in the world. Next Steps for Early Learning and Childcare, a new strategy, published on 28 January 2009, reviews progress since the 2004 10-year strategy and outlines the path ahead to improve early learning and childcare. The objectives of Sure Start Children''s Centres are to improve outcomes for young children as set out in the UK government’s Every Child Matters: Change for Children Programme, with a particular focus on reducing the inequalities between disadvantaged children and the rest, and helping to bring an end to child poverty. Sure Start Children’s Centres reflect a new approach because they offer more than just care of children under the age of five. They are one stop central hubs providing young children and their families easy access to family support and health care services, advice and support for parents including drop in sessions, outreach services, integrated early education and childcare (in children’s centres serving the most disadvantaged areas and optional elsewhere) and links through to training and employment advice. The intensity of services offered by each children’s centre will vary according to the level of disadvantage in the area.

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Provide children with a safe, adequate housing and living environment

Escape Form child abuse screening Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 2008

The Escape Form and emergency room nurse training was a program aimed at increased screening for an early detection of child abuse. The program consisted of a new six question checklist to screen for child abuse and training sessions in the use of that form for emergency room nurses. It was implemented in late 2008 in four hospitals in the province of South Holland in the Netherlands.

Home-Start Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Netherlands, Hungary, Norway, France, Denmark, Ireland, 1973

The Home-Start program is a home visiting intervention in which volunteers with child care experience give support to struggling families with children younger than five years of age. Home-Start targets families and mothers with little experience or social support network, who may have minor but not serious physical or mental health issues. Entry and exit to the Home-Start programme is entirely voluntary and all visits are at the convenience of participating families. It aims to reduce the stress of parenting and encourage families, especially families at risk for child abuse and neglect, so that a nurturing environment for their children may be created.

A Home-Start volunteer from the local community visits the family home for a few hours each week until the youngest child turns five or the family decides to exit from the program. On average, volunteers visit families for 6 months, and visits last for around 3-4 hours. The volunteers give emotional support and assistance with household tasks and outings as needed by each family. The volunteers provide friendship, encouragement, and an example of affectionate child care behaviour.

The program was founded in 1973 in the UK and has expanded into 22 countries around the world, including the Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Hungary, and The Netherlands. There are 314 local schemes of Home-Start UK located in the United Kingdom and in British Forces Germany and Cyprus.

Preparing for Life Choose translations of the previous link 
Ireland, 2000

Preparing for Life (PFL) is a five-year home visiting program targeted at disadvantaged families with children, beginning at pregnancy until the child starts school at age four or five. PFL home visitors provides families with developmental toys for children and public health information on stress control and eating habits, facilitates access to enhanced preschool, and provides access to  and a support worker that provides information on public services. Additionally, the programme includes weekly home visits that last between 30 minutes to two hours from a trained mentor and a portion of the Triple P group parent training. The home visiting portion focuses on providing parents with general support and help with parenting issues. The Triple P Positive Parent programme that parents receive a portion of is a separate programme that was integrated into PFL and occurs when the child is two-years old and lasts for eight weeks, consisting of four two-hour in-person sessions, three phone support sessions, and one culminating group session about positive parenting. PFL was developed in 2004 and has served about 200 families.

Smoking Cessation Counseling by Midwives Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 2012

This smoking cessation program was available to pregnant women smokers in two provinces of the Netherlands.  Midwives from 21 midwife practices were trained on how to approach the subject of smoking and smoking cessation with their clients and supplied with a brief manual and intervention card explaining the seven-step protocol for effective counseling.  The seven-step protocol includes identifying smoking behavior in the client and her partner, providing information on the short-term advantages of not smoking, discussing barriers to quitting, goal setting, providing self-help materials, agreeing on aftercare, and then following up at 8 months gestation.  Midwives in the intervention gave pregnant women smokers a video, a self-help manual and a booklet for their partner about non-smoking and health counseling, in addition to a general folder from the Dutch Smoking and Health Foundation which is available online to all Dutch women beginning a pregnancy.   All intervention materials were delivered upon the pregnant smoker’s first visit to her midwife.  

Time Banks Choose translations of the previous link 
Italy, 1992

The Italian region of Emilia Romagna has set up a work and family life balance programme which aims to help young parents and families who have to look after disabled or elderly persons. The programme involves a range of different services adapted to the realities that face local families. They include day-care centres for children aged under three, vouchers for childcare time and allowances for parents who decide to stop working to look after their children for the first year after birth. The time banks project is part of this programme. This initiative works as a time exchange system where hours are used as a unit of measurement for local families to exchange services that support their everyday lives. Opening an account is free. Each new account holder “pays in” a certain number of hours to the bank, which are then made available to other members. In exchange for this debit, the account holders receive time credit equivalent to the amount paid in, and can then call on ad hoc services in line with their needs. The type of exchange varies greatly. The offered services include such tasks as taking a child to the library, providing household help for disabled persons, helping to obtain an administrative document or preparing a meal.

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Reduce inequality at a young age by investing in early childhood education and care

After-School Care Choose translations of the previous link 
, 2005

The maisons relais or ''half-way centres'' look after children between the end of the school day and their return home. Open to children aged 3-12 – and sometimes older – they are distinguished by their flexibility, proximity of location and quality of the childcare provided. They exist in a number of European countries, in particular Luxembourg, where they have seen rapid growth in recent years. There are now 106 of these maisons relais providing almost 16,000 places for a country with a population of just under 500,000. The Luxembourg maisons relais are co-managed by the municipalities and open to children who live or attend school in the area. Their flexibility is one of their greatest benefits. Parents with variable working hours (part time, varying from day to day or week to week, etc.) have access tailored to their needs, thereby making it easier for them to combine work and family life.

After-School Hours' Clubs Choose translations of the previous link 
Malta, 2009

Klabb 3-16 is an after school hours care service for children aged 3 to 16 years who attend state, church and independent schools. Each club has a co-ordinator, who is responsible for the overall running of that particular club, and a team of dedicated and professionally trained staff.   The clubs run from Monday to Friday between 2.30pm and 6pm (during school days) and between 7.15am and 5.15pm during some holidays. The service offers a planned programme of activities where children can first do their homework, play and take part in activities. Activities include a variety of arts and crafts, storytelling, sports, drama, music activities, cooking and free play. The clubs are located in school buildings, which means that the capacity of each club depends on the buildings’ capacity as well as the staff capacity. Currently, the clubs can look after between 150 and 200 children. "Parents are advised to register their children at the respective clubs. They are also advised to book for the service directly with the club. We are very flexible, even the day before is enough for us. Obviously for better efficiency booking in advance is desirable," said Roderick Agius, the CEO of the Foundation for Educational Services.

Austrian Public Employment Service Choose translations of the previous link 
, 1995

The Austrian Public Employment Service (AMS), whose work revolves around helping jobseekers find work and paying out unemployment benefit, has produced equal opportunities and women’s development plans within the AMS since 1995. The plans are first agreed with all the regional heads. The latest one runs from 2008 until 2013. The special focus for the coming years is on helping to ensure that men and women share family responsibilities.

Brede School All Day Community School Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 1994

In the Netherlands, all schools – public and private – are fully subsidised by the state. ‘Brede schools’ do not receive extra funding. Rather, the ‘brede school’ policy is linked to local rather than national policy, also in relation to funding. Supporting policies do exist at national level, which stimulate the development of the ‘brede school’ concept. The activities and buildings are further organised and funded through the municipality, school boards and other bodies, such as social work, child day-care, and sport and art organisations. ‘Brede schools’ are open to children of all ages: from pre-school through primary and up to secondary level. There are now more than 1,200 ‘brede schools’ in the Netherlands. In the 1990s, these schools were located in traditionally disadvantaged areas and particularly in those with high rates of migrant inhabitants. These community-centred schools were meant to enhance the chances of these groups and to help families better integrate into society. Nowadays, ‘brede schools’ are increasingly located in a wider variety of areas; not only in large cities in traditionally disadvantaged areas, but in order to maintain a certain level of facilities for children and their parents also in small villages.

Cap Canailles Intercompany Creche Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2009

Employees from seven organisations based in the same area of Marseille in France have been able to put their children in an intercompany crèche called ‘Cap Canailles’ since February 2009. The crèche is located in ‘la Joliette’, an area with some 11,000 employees and 1,000 companies. If they take up the option, parents pay the same rate as for a municipal crèche and the opening times (7.30am until 7.30pm) are longer than for municipal crèches. “Creches in France are hard to come by and there are long waiting lists,” says Marie Pelen, who runs the Cap Canailles intercompany crèche. Looking after young children is a major problem for working parents in France as, on average, there are only nine crèche places available in the country for every 100 children aged up to four.

Centres for Families Choose translations of the previous link 
Italy

Municipal Centres for Families are local facilities offering practical services for families with children who face everyday problems, such as the difficulty of reconciling work and family. These centres, located mostly in the Italian region of Emilia Romagna, primarily support young couples, single parents and immigrant families – the latter of which are often not fully integrated into the local society. Municipal Centres are also frequently meeting places for groups of families who enrol in discussion groups addressing work–life balance. The Centres are part of the municipal system of social services and are coordinated and financed by the Emilia Romagna Region. In recent years, however, five other regional centres have joined the core Municipal Centre group, following Emilia Romagna’s example.

Ecce Ama!: Child Care in Learning Networks Choose translations of the previous link 
Belgium

Ecce ama!, which is a programme of Belgium’s Resource and Research Centre for Early Childcare and Education (VBJK), develops training modules to prepare low- skilled men and women for jobs in the childcare sector – more specifically for a job as family day care provider-childminder – or for employment in local child care initiatives in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

The project also prepares trainers, managers and early childcare practitioners to work with disadvantaged and socially deprived groups (such as lower educated or lower skilled men and women) who frequently experience difficulties in accessing services for young children.

Ecce ama! focuses on developing training tools and preparing managers, practitioners and trainers to work with high risk groups on the labour market. In addition, getting men involved in early child care, improving the overall quality of employment in child care and making childcare more accessible to socially disadvantaged groups are targets of the Belgian (Flemish) project.

Ecce ama! attaches major importance to guiding people towards quality childcare that is accessible to all parents and children.

Financial Support for Pregnant Women in Need - Mother and Child Foundation Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 1984

The German Federal Foundation “Mother and Child – Protection of Unborn Life” was established in 1984. It provides additional, easily accessible financial support to struggling mothers-to-be, aiming to make it easier for them to go ahead with childbirth.  Since its creation, the foundation has supported about 150,000 pregnant women in need every year – about one fifth of all expectant mothers in Germany. Between 2006 and 2009, roughly two thirds of recipients were German, while one third were citizens of other countries. Only 3% of recipients were under 18 years old.

Gepetto Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2001

Gepetto (Garde d’Enfant Pour l’Equilibre du Temps professionnel, du Temps familial et son Organisation – Childcare for a balance between working life, family life and its organisation) is a childcare system for children between 0 and 13 years of age provided at families’ homes at times when no other facilities can meet the childcare requirement. It was designed mainly to assist parents working in sectors with unsocial working hours such as catering, hotels, retailing, intermittent workers in show-business, and public transport workers. It also concerns parents who travel for work, or who have to look after sick children (turned away from a nursery or who cannot go to school), or a breakdown in the usual childcare mode (nursery closed, child-minder sick or absent …). Gepetto complements the other childcare modes that already exist: nurseries, approved child-minders, non-residential leisure centres, after-school care. This mode of childcare is available 7 days a week, day and night at the parents’ home. The work is carried out by childcare professionals (kindergarten teachers, early childhood workers and people with a certificate of professional competence in child-minding). Gepetto aims to recruit professionals qualified to look after young children, and guarantees them a certain level of pay and inclusion in a collective labour agreement. Several Gepetto franchises have been opened in France, covering eight départements of France, in the north, east and south of the country. They constitute the Gepetto network, but operate independently and under different names.

Global Provision of Services of CAF Morbihan Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2005

Since 2005, the Morbihan Caisse d’Allocations Familiales [Family Allowance Fund] (CAF) in France has been facing the challenge of providing the department’s users with a different and unique service. The policies implemented are based on the payment of financial benefits and on social action targeted at families, thereby contributing to stability for families and their children and supporting them during times of hardship.  This strategy of assisting families is known as the “global provision of services”. The aim is to provide global and appropriate responses to the diversity of situations and needs of beneficiaries and to develop solidarity with the most vulnerable families.

Hand-in-Hand for Child Support Choose translations of the previous link 
Latvia, 2008  - 2010

The overall objective of “Hand-in-hand”, which began in 2008 and ends in 2010, is to develop mechanisms that detect when support for students and their families is needed – and that these students and families receive timely, relevant assistance. One way of achieving this goal is a new software tool that tracks students’ behaviour at school. Previously in Latvia there had not been established criteria for assessing students’ behaviour. The pilot project will establish a uniform system for assessing records of pupils’ behaviour and study results, and promote the dissemination of this good practice example to other schools. Another concrete tool which has been developed during the project is specialised computer software for assessing pupils’ behaviour. Since September 2009 this software, called ‘E-klase’, has been implemented in three grades in schools in Cesis. It has also been applied by 16 pedagogues in 5 different schools, reaching 318 children. With the aid of this computer program a child’s parents receive information about their behaviour. In this way, the Cesis project works to improve cooperation of students, parents, schools and other local government institutions in order to solve different everyday issues regarding children and his or her family. It also helps educators cultivate a positive environment for cooperation within the family context. Specialists from Ukraine, Belarus and Finland visited Cesis in order to get acquainted with the project and to offer their own experience about further linking family and education.

Improving Preschool Teacher Training Choose translations of the previous link 
Denmark, 2010

The Department of Education at Aarhus University in Denmark is leading a four-year (2010-13) project to improve preschool teacher training so that children's emotional and intellectual needs are better looked after from an early age. Another aim is help day care centre staff develop techniques to ensure that all children play a full part in their group of children, also known as 'social inclusion'. The Danish government is providing just over one million euro of funding. The main difficulty being tackled is that many Danish children whose parents are poor, unemployed, have no education or are on welfare are at a greater risk of having developmental and wellbeing problems and of being excluded from society in later life. The project is being carried out with three Danish preschool teacher training colleges and is aimed at 120 day care centres developing new practices for children aged between three and six years old. These colleges run training courses for directors of day care centres and one member of staff. The Department of Education runs seminars just for the directors. The cost (travel and paid time off) of sending the staff and directors to these events is picked up by the four Danish municipalities involved in the project. Over the three years of the project, a director and one member of staff from each day care centre will have spent 17 days on training courses and directors will have spent another six days on seminars with other directors. Of the one million euro from the Danish government, one third of this is being used for the courses and seminars; a third for a study on the effects of the project and a third on analysis and administration.

Incredible Years Choose translations of the previous link 
Denmark, United Kingdom, Norway, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden, 2001

The Incredible Years programme consists of twelve weeks of 2-2.5 hour parenting sessions designed to teach parents how to recognize and treat their child’s emotional and behavioural problems through positive parenting. This programme can be used for parents of both pre-school and school-aged children who already have or are at risk of developing conduct problems (including antisocial behaviour, frequent anger, and a propensity towards violence).

Involving Parents in the Education of their Children Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2008

'La Mallette des parents' [the parents' briefcase] is an ongoing project that is aimed at involving parents more in their children's education in around 80 schools. It is run by the Academie Creteil, which comes under the direct authority of the France's Ministry for Education. The Academie Creteil's responsibilities include regular inspections of schools in its catchment area, which is Seine et Marne, Seine St Denis and Val de Marne, close to Paris. It was set up to improve relations between parents and teachers to help parents understand more about how their child is taught so that they can contribute to their child's success at school. Project coordinator Marc Dreyfuss is in charge of a permanent working group of about ten or so people. He follows the different projects in each school and works on future ideas for the project as a whole.

Local Alliances for Families Choose translations of the previous link 
Germany, 2004

Local authorities, companies and social organisations have been working together since 2003 to develop family-friendly practices in a German government initiative called ‘Lokale Bündnisse für Familie’ (Local Alliances for Families). The initiative aims to address the lack of childcare and strengthen a family-friendly infrastructure at the local level by facilitating cooperation and exchange of experience between companies, social organisations and municipalities.

Local Babysitter Services Choose translations of the previous link 
Latvia, 2004

In 2004, the Latvian government launched an Action Plan on family policy, set to continue until 2013. A central feature of the strategy is to develop alternative child-care services in a local government framework. To this end, babysitter agencies were to be created in local municipalities, tasked with providing information to families on babysitter services that are available in their local areas.The city of Liepaja, on Latvia''s Baltic coast, is one of many in the country to face a significant lack of pre-school child care places. In 2008, there was a shortfall of 2,000 places – a number that is strikingly high for a city of about 90,000 inhabitants. The Liepaja Babysitters Agency, which was created in the framework of the national strategy to tackle the childcare shortage issue at local level helps to ensure that more families have better access to child-minding services, but also that parents do not have to bear all the expenses for quality services. The local government of Liepaja provides financial support to the agency, which depends to some extent on the level of local parents'' uptake of its services.

Micro-Creches Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2007

France is suffering from a severe shortage of crèche places for children under the age of three. In response, the government launched a plan designed to create between 200,000 and 400,000 new childcare places by 2012. One of the recommended solutions is Micro-crèches. These new structures are easy to set up, inexpensive and particularly welcome in rural areas. Two child carers, one working just a short distance from the other, can pool their efforts, select some premises, submit a file to the PMI (Protection Maternelle et Infantile - Mother and Child Protection) and very soon have their micro-crèche up and running. These micro-structures accept a maximum of nine children of less than six years of age and employ three staff with at least two years’ experience of working with very young children. They can also be set up by an association or local authority. These structures have existed since 2007.

Netherlands Youth Institute Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 2007

The Netherlands Youth Institute (Dutch: Nederlands Jeugdinstituut) is the Dutch national institute for compiling, verifying and disseminating knowledge on children, parenting and families. Its main aim is to improve the physical, cognitive, mental and social development of children and young people by improving the quality and effectiveness of the services rendered to them and to their parents or carers. Its main areas of expertise include:

•Effective parenting and healthy child developments

•Challenges in parenting and child development

•Guidelines, effective interventions and instruments

•Strengthening professionals working with children and families

•The child welfare system, its purpose and functions

As such, the institute covers areas such as child and youth welfare, youth care, health, justice and children's development and well-being. It is the Dutch national specialist on parenting support, community schools, child abuse and early child education.

Netmums: Local Online Parenting Information Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2000

Set up in 2000, Netmums is an online parenting organisation in the UK, which has notched up 700,000 members and has 15,000 new members joining up each month. The organisation is a family of local websites that span the country. Each local website offers information essential to life as a mother to children. This includes where to find childminders and playgroups, how to eat healthily and even where to meet other mothers. Netmums receives funding through the ‘Parent Know How programme’ , which is supported by UK government’s Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF).

New Deal for Lone Parents Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 1998  - 2011

There are 1.84 million lone parents in Great Britain, with over 1 million of these in work. The majority of remaining lone parents can claim Income Support (the main income replacement benefit for lone parents) or other out of work benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance or Employment and Support Allowance. Currently there are around 700,000 lone parents claiming Income Support and over half of them are unemployed. For the past twelve years, the British government has been trying to address this problem through the New Deal for Lone Parents (NDLP) programme. It is a voluntary programme that aims to help and encourage lone parents to improve their job readiness and employment opportunities and gain independence through working. Those eligible to join the programme include all lone parents aged 16 or over whose youngest child is under 16, those who are not working, or are working less than 16 hours per week and receive Income Support or Jobseeker’s Allowance.

New Forms of Childcare Choose translations of the previous link 
Estonia, 2005

Queuing for childcare places is common in Estonia: nearly half of local governments report a shortage of kindergarten places. The available facilities for toddlers do not meet demand and are not flexible enough to satisfy the needs of mothers who – mostly working full-time – seek to manage work and family responsibilities. The Estonian Development Partnership “Children Taken Care of, Mothers at Work” does what its name indicates: creating new, alternative childcare services to enable young mothers to participate in the labour market. An additional aspect of the Estonian childcare situation was associated with childminders: when the “Children Taken Care of, Mothers at Work” project began in 2005, there were no professional childminders in Estonia. Also, there was no professional qualification system for childminders or an institution which could grant official certification. Establishing this missing link in the Estonian childcare system is a top policy priority: “The best ideas are those which help to solve several problems at once,” says Paul-Eerik Rummo, former Minister of Population and Ethnic Affairs. “By developing new flexible childcare opportunities, we will provide a supplementary incentive to the increase in births that is already underway in Estonia. At the same time we will improve the employment situation, particularly for women, and alleviate the risks related to the lack of qualified labour that threaten the country’s economic competitiveness. Our policies will create a new basis guaranteeing that families can cope financially and emotionally,” Mr Rummo says.

NGO Childcare Centre Open During School Holiday Choose translations of the previous link 
Cyprus

A childcare centre run by the Community Welfare Council Ergaton, in Nicosia, is one of the few NGO centres in Cyprus to stay open for children aged two to five during school holidays (from 7am to 7pm). Holiday care is difficult to find and the only other option is for parents to pay for more expensive private services. The facility is subsidised by the government but parents pay around €87 per month per child to use the centre. Exceptions can be made for parents in a difficult situation. There are two childcare staff for every 15 children. During term time, the centre looks after pre-school children (aged two to five) in the early mornings and in the afternoons from 12 noon until 6pm. On average, from 25 to 30 children attend during the summer holidays. Children are given an afternoon meal and supervised care. After lunch, many indoor and outdoor activities (e.g. arts and crafts, indoor and outdoor sport and music) are organised for them.

Nista Multimedia Campaign Choose translations of the previous link 
Malta, 2010  - 2012

Malta's public employment service, the Employment Training Corporation (ETC), is running a two-year multimedia campaign called 'Nista' to encourage more women to enter and remain in the labour market. The campaign runs from October 2010 until September 2012.  It is part of Malta's National Reform Programme under Europe's 2020 strategy and seeks to tackle the problem of gender stereotyping in Malta, whereby men tend to go to work while women tend to stay at home to look after the family. The partners are: the Malta Association of Women in Business, the European Social Fund Agency Flanders, the Prime Minister's Office, the National Family Commission, the Malta Federation of Industry, the Malta Employers Association and the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality.

Parents' Briefcase Choose translations of the previous link 
France, 2008

La Mallette des parents' [the parents' briefcase] is an ongoing project that aims to involve parents more in their children's education in around 80 schools in France. It is run by the Academie de Creteil, which comes under the direct authority of the France's Ministry for Education. The programme was set up to improve relations between parents and teachers and to help parents understand more about how their child is taught so that they can contribute to their child's success at school.

Preparing for Life Choose translations of the previous link 
Ireland, 2000

Preparing for Life (PFL) is a five-year home visiting program targeted at disadvantaged families with children, beginning at pregnancy until the child starts school at age four or five. PFL home visitors provides families with developmental toys for children and public health information on stress control and eating habits, facilitates access to enhanced preschool, and provides access to  and a support worker that provides information on public services. Additionally, the programme includes weekly home visits that last between 30 minutes to two hours from a trained mentor and a portion of the Triple P group parent training. The home visiting portion focuses on providing parents with general support and help with parenting issues. The Triple P Positive Parent programme that parents receive a portion of is a separate programme that was integrated into PFL and occurs when the child is two-years old and lasts for eight weeks, consisting of four two-hour in-person sessions, three phone support sessions, and one culminating group session about positive parenting. PFL was developed in 2004 and has served about 200 families.

Reserve Grandparent Scheme Choose translations of the previous link 
Denmark, 2008

Parents in Denmark are entitled to take one paid day off work each time their child is ill. Children are however often ill for longer periods and many parents struggle to find a carer to look after their children when they need to return to work. This common problem has inspired an innovative response: recruiting support from local senior citizens. Under the voluntary ‘Reserve Grandparent Scheme’, retired older people are invited to step in and care for sick children when their parents need to get back to work. The Danish Ministry of Social Welfare manages the financing of the scheme, which benefitted from €650,000 of government support in 2008. ‘Reserve Grandparent Scheme’ initiatives are supported in seven locations across Denmark. One of these is in the municipality of Gladsaxe and is managed by a local non-profit association. The scheme operates under a maximum ratio of five families per participating grandparent. Currently, five grandparents offer standby support to 25 families in the town. The demand for substitute grandparents outstrips the supply.

Smoking Cessation Counseling by Midwives Choose translations of the previous link 
Netherlands, 2012

This smoking cessation program was available to pregnant women smokers in two provinces of the Netherlands.  Midwives from 21 midwife practices were trained on how to approach the subject of smoking and smoking cessation with their clients and supplied with a brief manual and intervention card explaining the seven-step protocol for effective counseling.  The seven-step protocol includes identifying smoking behavior in the client and her partner, providing information on the short-term advantages of not smoking, discussing barriers to quitting, goal setting, providing self-help materials, agreeing on aftercare, and then following up at 8 months gestation.  Midwives in the intervention gave pregnant women smokers a video, a self-help manual and a booklet for their partner about non-smoking and health counseling, in addition to a general folder from the Dutch Smoking and Health Foundation which is available online to all Dutch women beginning a pregnancy.   All intervention materials were delivered upon the pregnant smoker’s first visit to her midwife.  

STOP4-7 Choose translations of the previous link 
Belgium, Netherlands, 2000

STOP4-7 is an early intervention for children (aged 4 to 7) with (serious) behavioral problems. The programme consists of three group training interventions: for the children (10 whole day sessions), the parents (10 2-hour sessions) and the teachers (4 3-hour sessions) involved. Besides these training sessions,  homevisits and schoolvisits are also part of the programme.  The first phase consists of training sessions (three months): learning of skills and enhancing parents and teachers. Some home and school visits help to individualize the learning process. The second phase (home and school visits; three months) is aimed at strenghtening the changes accomplished in the first phase. To help children grow up in a prosocial way it is necessary to include parents and teachers to help them, by changing their living and learning environment.

Sure Start Centres Choose translations of the previous link 
United Kingdom, 2004

Sure Start Children’s Centres are a vital part of the UK government’s ten-year strategy to offer wider access to affordable, flexible and high-quality childcare. Launched in 2004, the strategy also aims to develop the workforce involved in childcare in order to make it among the best in the world. Next Steps for Early Learning and Childcare, a new strategy, published on 28 January 2009, reviews progress since the 2004 10-year strategy and outlines the path ahead to improve early learning and childcare. The objectives of Sure Start Children''s Centres are to improve outcomes for young children as set out in the UK government’s Every Child Matters: Change for Children Programme, with a particular focus on reducing the inequalities between disadvantaged children and the rest, and helping to bring an end to child poverty. Sure Start Children’s Centres reflect a new approach because they offer more than just care of children under the age of five. They are one stop central hubs providing young children and their families easy access to family support and health care services, advice and support for parents including drop in sessions, outreach services, integrated early education and childcare (in children’s centres serving the most disadvantaged areas and optional elsewhere) and links through to training and employment advice. The intensity of services offered by each children’s centre will vary according to the level of disadvantage in the area.

Vouchers for childcare, sports and music Choose translations of the previous link 
Luxembourg, 2009

Introduced in 2009, childcare-service vouchers (Chèques-Service Accueil) in Luxembourg form the “first piece in the puzzle that makes up free childcare” according to Marie-Josée Jacobs, Minister for Family and Integration. Under the scheme, all children under the age of 13, irrespective of household income, have access to a limited number of hours of free or subsidised childcare or after school activities. Children in vulnerable situations benefit from additional free or reduced-cost hours. Vouchers can be claimed by parents of all children who are resident in Luxembourg and aged 0-12 and/or still in primary education.  Childcare-service vouchers can be used at half-way centres (or maisons –relais), crèches, daycare centres, nurseries and boarding schools as well as for the services of parental assistants.  The scheme has also been extended to cover music schools and sports clubs within the child’s town or district of residence.

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