Project Title

Validation of non-formal and informal learning in childminding

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Project Excerpt

Developing mechanisms for validating prior learning of childminders and motivate and direct them on further learning steps.

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ValChild project

ValChild develops a mechanism for validating informally developed knowledge, skills and competencies of childminders. This will support them to seek personalised learning pathways and guidance towards further training and qualifications, facilitating transparency and promoting quality in the services provided.

This mechanism also provides childminder employers and recruiting agencies with evidence of childminder´s competencies, measured against a relevant benchmark.

In this context, ValChild will offer informal childminders directions on further learning steps, motivating them at the same time to be part of a more formal framework.

In this way, ValChild supports and reinforces laying the groundwork for childminding policy, in compliance with European regulations and directives.

Period: 1 October 2018 – 31 March 2020


For the past decades, European policymakers, as well as the European civil society, have shown a growing interest in the field of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). The Barcelona objectives (set by the European Council in 2002) urges for greater availability of top-quality child-minding solutions while the predominant role played by early years in children’s development becomes a commonly known fact. Nevertheless, childcare provision in Europe remains a fragmented area, including formally trained practitioners as well as experienced but informal childminders.

Informal childcare is commonly used, sometimes to compensate for the insufficient availability of formal and/or affordable solutions. However, informal care does not necessarily rhyme with unskilled workers, but the lack of transparency impeaches to identify workers’ competences and therefore to develop them via lifelong learning. Validation of Non-formal and Informal learning (VNIL) is a way to both diagnose and evaluate skills acquired through experience which allows in a second time to guide people toward further appropriate learning. But for now, this kind of device is unfortunately not frequently used in Europe in the child care area, as there is no common assessment framework.

Target groups

  • Validation experts/ practitioners, national certified bodies.
  • Childminders who have acquired prior learning within informal, or non-formal settings.
  • VET providers offering childcare courses, interested in expanding their training provision.
  • Policymakers/ Regulators or related bodies
  • Sector representatives


  1. Evidence-based validation requirements and criteria.
  2. VALCHILD assessment and validation toolbox.
  3. VALCHILD recommendations and certification scheme.
  4. An evaluation report on the developed materials and tools.
  5. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and a position paper to influence and support policymakers to further simplifying the transparency and recognition of skills and qualifications across Europe.
  6. Three workshops in Ireland, France, and Portugal to run a pilot test of the VALCHILD assessment & validation framework
  7. Two national information days in Greece and the Netherlands to share and disseminate project results.
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