Why are we running this project?

Based on our activities in many projects and with numerous partners, it has become clear in recent years that there is a great need for answers to the question of how educational processes can be structurally incorporated in institutions as well as designed and improved. It is undisputed that a great deal of practical expertise is already available in the field of organizational development of daycare centers for children. This has been compiled in a handbook, “Organizational Development in Daycare Centers – Best Practice Examples,” and met with great demand in the field. On closer inspection, however, there is an apparent lack of theoretical foundation for a systematic and systemic approach that would allow stakeholders to act less on a case-by-case basis. This is why the project aims to generate and process knowledge to support daycare centers in their development as the first educational institution in a person’s life. As regards school development, the Robert Bosch Stiftung has become a relevant partner in the education sector over the years. The social development towards daycare centers as a place of learning and the strategic development at the Robert Bosch Stiftung of bringing together school and daycare center in two shared themes requires sustainable concepts on both sides. The Early Childhood Education Development Forum is intended to contribute to this and, in the course of its work, also include the perspective of school development and make it possible to bring the two together.

What are our goals?

The Early Childhood Education Development Forum aims to develop a comprehensive understanding of the conditions necessary for the successful organizational and quality development of daycare centers. Collaborating with stakeholders from daycare facilities, research, other disciplines with a strong connection to organizational development, politics, and foundations, the forum wants to provide action plans to systematically improve the educational quality of daycare centers and ensure it in the long term to support their development. Within the scope of the project, daycare centers will be considered with their entire institutional framework – from the level of the supporting organizations to the youth welfare offices and federal politics. The project seeks to draw attention to possible levers the system provides and raise awareness among decision-makers for the need to create certain conditions.

How does the project work?

The project is based on three steps: Understand. Connect. Change.

Understand: The forum will develop a scientifically based model, taking into account different perspectives, from which the stakeholders and their scope for action in the daycare sector with regard to organizational development will become apparent.

Connect: The ongoing exchange with stakeholders such as educators, daycare providers, expert advisors, political decision-makers from federal, state, and local authorities, representatives of youth welfare offices as well as science, trade unions, and parents is an integral part of the project. Various formats will be offered, including expert talks, workshops, and conferences. The idea is to identify relevant quality topics together and assess the need for change, answering the question whether and on the basis of which activities this transformation can be supported by an organizational development action plan.

Change: The dialogue-based process involving a wide range of stakeholders allows for ongoing feedback and is intended to strengthen acceptance within the sector from the outset. Increased willingness and improved interaction in the overall system can bring about lasting willingness to change and create a culture of learning from and with one another. The Early Childhood Education Development Forum hopes its contribution will support the sector in defining responsibilities more clearly and consequently providing relief in many areas as well as highlighting where political action is needed.