Cooperating in a network
One plus one equals more than two. This is what drives different ECEC organisations, working for families, towards closer cooperation. Examples are the Flemish Family Centres, the cooperation between childcare and school towards smoother transition to kindergarten, the community based childcare centres, working together with other community services towards more inclusion and accessibility, out of school care joining hands with initiatives in sports, culture or other leisure activities to provide a rich environment for children …
Stronger cooperation can make it easier to reach families. A local cooperation also allows for better responding to the local needs of families and children. It can also facilitate a more integrated organisation, thus avoiding a scattered field of supporting services. It is clear that working together with partner organisations does have an added value.
Looking for ways of cooperation
But this may be easier said than done … Several questions pop up. First of all: who would be the relevant partners? Secondly, how can all partners find themselves around a common goal while keeping their own identity? What is important in building and developing strong cooperation? How can you involve children and parents in all this? What are the main success factors and caveats to keep the cooperation going?
In several projects on parental support programs, childcare and pre-primary education, VBJK looks for ways of cooperation and how such cooperation can contribute to a positive and rich environment for children in which to grow up. We share this expertise with organisations on the field and with policymakers.