CARDET participates in the project Parent’s Informal Networks for Early Childhood Learning / PINECL with partners from Ireland, Romania, Italy, and UK. This is a Lifelong Learning Program which is leaded by the County Meath Vocational Educational Committee.

Research clearly confirms high returns to society from investments in quality early childhood development programs for children living in disadvantaged areas emphasising that many of the major economic and social problems – crime, teenage pregnancy, high school dropout rates, adverse health conditions, social exclusion – could be reduced as a result of early nurturing, the provision of early learning experiences, and the promotion of physical health and well-being from birth to age five. This stage of individual development is the most economically efficient time to develop cognitive and social skills, both of which are essential for future success.

However, especially where dispersed rural communities are concerned, there are simply not sufficient financial or manpower resources available to fully support early childhood development objectives. It is necessary to identify new service delivery models and new ways of providing a critical mass of trained personnel to support the limited numbers of professionals in these areas. Partners believe that online learning, simulated instruction, social networks and parents themselves are the key components to fundamentally tipping the balance in favour of rural communities and achieving equality of opportunity and access which are key policy, philosophical and service delivery benchmarks.

The aim of PINECL is “to design a bespoke curriculum that supports the accreditation of parents as lay family learning advisors and a bespoke social network to bring parents in rural communities and service providers together in support of early childhood development and education”.

During the first meeting the consortium presented the aims of the project and the activities that will be conducted during the project life cycle and discussed about its status and the tasks ahead. The second meeting (Pedagogic Meeting) was in Romania. Partners discussed the summary research findings and each one helped on developing the curriculum of the training modules. The next meeting will be in Finland. The meeting will be used to define future developments of the technology infrastructures foreseen.