How we work

VBJK’s work is invariably scientifically based. We always find ourselves on the crossroads between practice, policy and research.

VBJK’s work is invariably scientifically based. This is the case in our process guidance on the work floor, in our policy work and, of course, in our research projects. Here, we always find ourselves on the crossroads between practice, policy and research.

The combination of these three components - practice, policy and research - is exactly the strength of VBJK, as it is here precisely that we find the keys to innovation in early years’ services. That is why, in every project, be it national or international, we always connect practice, policy and research.

This way, a guidance process with practitioners, looking for answers to societal challenges, can result in pedagogical products – a film, a book, a tool – to disseminate the experiences to a wider audience. Or, the results of an action research can follow through in a project on the work floor. Research results are also translated into policy recommendations. In turn, these recommendations are always tested in partnership with ECEC-services that are willing to pioneer together with VBJK. This way, we constantly keep connecting.

Innovation, always in relation

  • VBJK works in a participative way, looking into the perspective of everyone involved, including children and families who participate directly or indirectly. We carefully search for ways to reach partners and target groups.
  • We cooperate with partners in an open and respectful way and attentive to transparent dialogue. We always look for a common ground and equivalence.
  • VBJK informs policymakers, on request as well as proactively, based on careful monitoring of evolutions in practices and research – including internationally – as well as our own projects and research.
  • Nationally and internationally, we keep track of relevant trends in practice, research and policy.
  • In every project we aim for co-ownership of stakeholders. By building solid support, we always try to go for change on a structural level.

Innovation by reflection  

  • Critical reflection is the key to innovation and change. Professionals ask themselves: why do we do what we do in our work with children? In this process, VBJK often takes position as critical friend: as a supportive friend, we want to fully understand the work of practitioners, we want to value it and at the same time question it. Alongside the partners we analyse the practice, research and policy (deconstruction) and then build new practices, policy and research: reconstruction in co-construction.
  • The work of VBJK is methodically and scientifically substantiated: we build our work on theories of change, work with models in which we approach actors of change, use validated techniques of intervision and supervision….The same scientific basis is used in our own research, be it focus groups, literature reviews, action research, case studies or quantitative analysis.

Innovation in a structural way

  • VBJK works towards building and strengthening competent systems, in which not only the individual, but also the team, the organisation, the policy level and (international) networks have their role to play. Only through solid cooperation and quality requirements for all these actors, every level can continually develop and grow. The different roles and responsibilities of all actors are at the focus of all our guidance projects, policy work and research.
  • At VBJK, we want to take the time needed to facilitate innovation and to give our partners tailored support, advice or research
  • VBJK always aims at broad and structural change in the long term.