Mariacristina Picchio, PhD in Education, is Researcher at ISTC-CNR and collaborates with the Human Development and Society Group. She conducts research in the fields of socialization processes in early childhood, evaluation of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services, initial training of ECEC professionals and continuous professional development, relationships between ECEC professionals and families with young children with a specific focus on migrant parents. She has contributed to design a system of participatory evaluation of ECEC quality based on pedagogical documentation and participated in several action-research projects in cooperation with local governments. She is involved as a teacher and supervisor in several initiatives of continuing professional development of ECEC practitioners and pedagogical coordinators in many Italian regions and cities. She is country coordinator for the European Early Childhood Education Research Association (EECERA).