Continuous professional support and quality: the case of Pistoia.

The chapter describes the actions through which the Municipality of Pistoia, Italy, has implemented a substantial and continuous investment in sustaining the quality of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services. The case of Pistoia is a prime example of how the municipal governance of a system of ECEC services can supply quantitatively consistent ECEC provision while ensuring its good quality. We will argue that professionalism is a key-element of the quality of Italian municipal ECEC and highlight how continuous professional support contributes to develop it and makes it a major dimension in a competent ECEC system. First, we will provide some data on ECEC in Italy and outline the relevance of the municipal ECEC provision as well as the essential features of municipal ECEC professionalism. Then, we will draft a brief history of the development of ECEC in Pistoia and analyse the main elements that characterise professionalism in ECEC and ensure its quality. Finally, we will describe the procedures for the documentation and analysis of educational practice that have been developed during some action-research initiatives in Pistoia and discuss their potential and future implementation in other contexts.

Publication type: 
Contributo in volume
Author or Creator: 
Picchio M.
Mayer S.
routledge, London, GBR
Pathways to Professionalism in Early Childhood Education and Care, edited by Vandenbroeck, M., Urban, M., Peeters, J., pp. 43–56. London: routledge, 2016
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ISTC Author: 
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