On April 10, 24 French professionals, childminders, parents and other stakeholders got together on a focus group in Nevers to evaluate the ChildIN Competence Framework. The meeting, that was organised by French ChildIN partners IPERIA l’Institut and the Department of Nièvre, aimed at improving the skills and training standards developed by IPERIA. Parallel to this, two other focus groups have also been set in Poland and in Portugal with the same objective.
After a brief presentation of the ChildIN project, the focus group participants spilt into working groups to analyse different case studies from the point of view of the qualities, skills and attitudes of childcare; and knowledge or childcare know-how. Then, each group checked the consistency between the case studies and the ChildIN Competence Framework.
French focus group concludes that the proposed competence framework is “rather consistent with the autistic children and families and childminders’ needs and rights. It highlights two important competence areas that must be developed by the childminder: the communication with the family and the professionals that intervene in the child’s life; and the interactions with the child.
The Competence Framework is a substantial building block for the enhancement of a harmonized training provision for home-based childminders on specific topics, and will set the basis for an improved quality of the home-based care of children with autism: its transferability potential is very high, as the competence framework and learning architecture will be applicable in any country of Europe and beyond.
On World Autism Awareness Day (April 2), partners of the ChildIN project joined Autism-Europe’s two-year awareness raising campaign, “I can learn. I can work.” to promote access to education and employment for people on the autism spectrum. In line with the objectives of the ChildIN project, the campaign recognizes the importance of training child minders, as they play a key role in supporting children at an early age. On the day, project partners shared pictures of supporters holding the campaign’s logo and making the campaign gesture to illustrate that everyone in society has certain strengths that can be harnessed to progress in education and employment, and to recognise the importance of educational staff in supporting this process.
It is estimated that across the European Union less than 10% of people on the autism spectrum are employed, and lack of access to education is partly to blame. Indeed, many autistic learners are excluded of the education system as they experience a lack of understanding of their individual needs and of adapted support. In order to respond to the challenges many autistic people face when accessing education (including to university and vocational training) and employment, AE is conducting a Europe-wide awareness raising campaign from 2020-2021, together with its member associations across all Europe, and beyond.
Autism-Europe called on people to join the campaign and to help highlight the diversity of ability that society can nurture to be more inclusive. To raise awareness about the objectives of the campaign, AE encouraged supporters to carry out the campaign gesture – holding or using a tool which represents their skills. This gesture is a symbol of empowerment and anyone can participate, whether they are autistic or not, to show that no one should be excluded or discriminated against.
The campaign takes place at a critical time, as the EU is currently discussing the future EU Disability Strategy 2020- 2030, for which AE is advocating. The coming years will also see the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights that states that ‘everyone has the right to quality and inclusive education, training and life-long learning in order to maintain and acquire skills that enable them to participate fully in society and manage successfully transitions in the labour market’. It is therefore a key opportunity to make our voice heard and bring the needs of people on the autism spectrum to the forefront.
How can I support the campaign?
Find a tool that represents one of your skills;
Make a video/ GIF of yourself holding the tool (and maybe using it);
OR take a picture of yourself holding the tool (and maybe using it);
Share it on social media using the #AutismDay2020 hashtag or send it to Autism Europe via email