Early childhood is a crucial period of learning and development which prepares children for lifelong learning and participation in society.

The Inclusive Early Childhood Education (IECE) project found that participation in pre-primary programmes has a major positive effect on children’s intellectual, social and emotional development. Moreover, the potential benefits of high-quality early childhood education ‘are particularly significant for children from disadvantaged and/or marginalised groups’ (European Commission, 2014, p. 10). Such children benefit most from early childhood education ‘when it is provided in contexts with a social mix’ (ibid., p. 14).

Project findings and recommendations from the Inclusive Early Childhood Education project can be found in a series of outputs.