Thursday – November 28

We are proud to present you the preliminary programme!

Thursday – Programme

09.00 – 09.45 hrs  Welcome and registrationFoyer
Plenary Opening Session
09.45 – 10.00 hrsWelcome note
Edward Melhuish – University of Oxford Dept of Education
10.00 – 11.00 hrsKeynote: One size does not fit all: why is there so much debate about the effectiveness
of early childhood policies?   |  Abstract
Emilia del Bono – Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)
11.00 – 11.30 hrs  Coffee breakFoyer
11.30 – 12.30 hrsParallel Keynotes – Round 1
1A. Effects of education systems

The effect of educational systems and policies on children of migrant and refugees.
An international comparative perspective  |  Abstract
Maurice Crul – VU University, Amsterdam  

Punt laag
1B. Investments of parents in children

Supporting dual language learning through collaboration between parents and teachers in
early childhood education  |  Abstract
Vibeke Grøver

Pandora Foyer
1C. Interagency working

Inter-agency working. Evidence from Europe and future directions.  |  Abstract
Prof. Jacqueline Barnes

12.30 – 13.30 hrs  Lunch breakFoyer
13.30 – 15.00 hrsSymposia & Interactive workshops – Round 2
2A. Bypassing system barriers in education systems |  More infoPunt laag
2B. Family stress and family investment in children’s development and learning |  More infoPandora Foyer
2C. Local governance and interagency working|  More infoPandora
2D. Posters KF Heinfoyer
15.00 – 15.30 hrs  Coffee breakPandora
15.30 – 17.00 hrsSymposia & Interactive workshops – Round 3
3A. Educational inequality and early interventions |  More infoPunt laag
3B. The case of the Roma: quest for the inner resources and supportive mechanisms
across Europe |  More info
Pandora foyer
3C. Acculturation & contact |  More infoPandora
3D. Exhibition/case-studies KF Heinfoyer
17.00 – 17.30 hrs  Drinks Foyer
17.30 – 21.00 hrs  Conference dinner   More infoFoyer

View the programme on Friday

Plenary & Parallel Keynotes

Abstract – Emilia del Bono

Title: One size does not fit all: why is there so much debate about the effectiveness of early childhood policies?

A large body of literature documents significant differences in children’s intellectual, emotional and social development from as early as a few months of age. These differences cast a long shadow on subsequent outcomes, including education, health and economic opportunities in the adult years. For several decades both government and non-governmental organizations in many countries have promoted initiatives aimed at reducing these differentials in order to give children a level playing field. The effectiveness of these policies, which often comes at a great cost for the taxpayer, is however much debated. This is partly because there is substantial variation in the way in which the same policy affects different groups of the population and how the programme is implemented on the ground.

In this talk we are going to look at two different policies aimed at improving children’s early outcomes. Our aim is to show how their effect is mediated by parental characteristics or aspects of the programme implementation.

Specifically, we first look at the effect of the Unicef Breastfeeding Friendly Initiative, a programme aimed at increasing maternal rates of breastfeeding and introduced in several hospitals and maternity units in the UK from the early 90s onwards. We see that this policy was successful at increasing the breastfeeding rates of mothers with relatively low levels of education, while it had very limited effects on the rest of the population. We also document significant differences in the effects of the programme on immigrant mothers. These differences are a function of different cultural norms, and reveal that in some cases the policy might accentuate rather than reduce breastfeeding differentials.

Our second case study relates to the effects of pre-school education on early educational outcomes in England. Previous research shows that the introduction of universal child care did not lead to large or sustained gains in children’s outcomes. Here we ask whether the (small) educational effect of an additional term spent in a nursery or day care centre masks variation by quality of the pre-school setting attended. Our quality measures include structural as well as process indicators. We show that while staff qualifications and pupil teacher ratios do not matter, some process quality indicators – and particularly those that capture excellence in the leadership and management of the setting – are significant predictors of better child outcomes.

Abstract – Prof Maurice Crul

Title: The effect of educational systems and policies on children of migrant and refugees. An international comparative perspective.

A lot of the research on children of migrants and refugees has looked at family background characteristics to explain success and failure in education. In this lecture I will focus on institutional arrangements in educational systems that either help or hinder educational success for children of migrants and refugees. I take an international comparative perspective because that allows to test the importance of national school system characteristics like pre-school, selection age, the permeability of the school system and the strength of the vocational apprenticeship system the best. In the two separate studies we found remarkable differences in educational outcomes across countries. In the first study we compared second generation Turkish students across seven European countries and in a recent study we compared refugee children in three European countries, Turkey and Lebanon. Some of the findings are similar for children of migrants compared to children of refugees. But there also important differences that have to do with the fact that children of refugees more often stream into the educational system at a later age and more often have an interrupted school career. My general conclusion is that educational systems and policies determine to a large extent outcomes. What for instance was framed as a refugee crises in reality a crises of our institution not being prepared and flexible enough to incorporate children that deviate for the ‘norm’ child for which educational systems have been designed. Migration has however become a permanent feature of our world and refugee streams, as everybody predicts, will only grow in the future. We need to adapt our school systems to this new reality.

Abstract – Vibeke Grøver

Title: Supporting dual language learning through collaboration between parents and teachers in early childhood education

A growing number of children in Europe speak a language at home that is different from the language they use and learn in preschool. I will present results from a cluster-randomized, controlled study in Norway, in which we examined the effects on children’s first- and second- language vocabulary skills of receiving a researcher-developed year-long intervention program organized around thematically-related shared reading. Dual language learning was supported through partnership with parents who, in the family’s preferred language, shared books at home that were also used in preschool. The findings confirm that parents are committed to supporting their children’s dual language learning and that they can do so by strengthening the family language as a resource for learning the school language when opportunities for alignment with preschool-based activities are available. The study thus offers guidance for teachers in preschools serving children from heterogeneous language groups.

Abstract – Prof Jacqueline Barnes

Title: Inter-agency working. Evidence from Europe and future directions.

The nature and extent of interagency working in the ten ISOTIS European countries will be described, focussing on the nature and extent of inter-agency collaboration, facilitators and barriers to success. The countries have been categorised on a number of dimensions relevant to inter-agency working based on summaries of their legislation and governance, namely: decentralization; the presence of integrated services across sectors with integrated funding; involvement of NGOs and charities in providing services for disadvantaged families and children; and power and leadership at the local level with a social mission. A Country Index based on these dimensions will be linked with responses made by parent or well-being and service use, and the extent of interagency-working a reported by policy makers and managers.

Parallel Symposia – Round 2

2A. Bypassing system barriers in education systems

The symposium will address macro and chrono level aspects of educational inequalities. A focus will be set on the role of educational systems for social and ethnicity-based inequality in educational outcomes. By bringing together experts in the field together, the symposium aims to evaluate and elaborate potential policy approaches that could foster equal opportunities in our contemporary education systems.  After an introductory presentation of ISOTIS Work Package 1, we will hear two invited talks on educational systems and social and ethnicity related inequality. An interactive round table discussion will evaluate policies that may tackle inequalities in education and society at large.

Jan Skopek – Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Thomas van Huizen – University of Dublin, Ireland
Educational systems and social inequality in education
Herman van de Werfhorst – University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Ethnic concentration and diversity in Italian primary schools:
Consequences for pupils’ attitudes and social integration
Emanuele Fedeli & Moris Triventi – University of Trento, Italy
Round table discussion

 13.30 – 15.00 hrs    Room: Punt laag


2B. Family stress and family investment in children’s development and learning

The family constitutes the most influential developmental context for children. The early years of life and especially the joint interactions and experiences with their parents are formative for child development and their educational career. However, financial hardship as well as tensions and challenges caused by migration can affect parents’ well-being and their means to provide an enriched learning environment for their children. Core questions arising in this regard are: What determines the well-being of socio-economically disadvantaged parents? How do the family’s resources and attitudes affect what the parents do with their children? In this symposium, we want to shed light on these questions and discuss potential implications for family support.

Determinants of informal home learning activities for children of four
groups of disadvantages families

Katrin M. Wolf – Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Yvonne Anders –  Utrecht University, The Netherlands

How family background characteristics and migration history affect home
learning environment of Turkish children in the UK.

Pinar Kolancali & the ISOTIS WP2 team – University of Oxford, UK

Factors related to perceived discrimination, and life satisfaction among
low-income, non-immigrant mothers in seven European countries

Katharina Ereky-Stevens – University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Julian Gardiner – University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Jacqueline Barnes, University of London, United Kingdom 

Discussant: Kathy Sylva – University of Oxford, UK

 13.30 – 15.00 hrs    Room: Pandora foyer


2C. Local governance and interagency working

Social policies for promoting human capital development, such as ECEC policy, are increasingly being determined and delivered at the local level as a consequence of European policy. Steadily competences are delegated and transferred from central government to the municipalities and civil society leading to debates about how to best design and implement local governance. In this domain two questions are crucial: What is the most effective model of governance to ensure the best outcomes for children and families? What roles and responsibilities should be delegated to the new social actors?

The goals of this symposium are to share experiences on local governance through the perspective of different European countries andbring to light the characteristics that best define effective models of local interagency collaboration.

The Action Base of Integrated Activity (Baza Akcji Zintegrowanej Animacji;
BAZA) – Local Support System for children and youth at risk of social

Olga Wysłowska – University of Warsaw, Poland

The influence of local governance and ECE-policy on ECE preschool quality

Lies van de Kuilen – University of Utrecht, the Netherlands

Integrated working in ECEC. Making it work: insights from practice and

Liesbeth Lambert – VBJK
Discussant: Joanna Guerra – University of Coimbra, Portugal

 13.30 – 15.00 hrs    Room: Pandora


Parallel Symposia – Round 3

3A. Educational inequality and early interventions

The symposium will focus on the emergence of inequalities in the early years of life and the potential of early educational interventions to level the playing field. By bringing together experts from various disciplines (economics, sociology, psychology), the symposium aims to evaluate and elaborate potential policy approaches that could foster equal opportunities in European systems of early childhood education and care.  After an introductory presentation of ISOTIS Work Package 1, we will hear two invited talks. Bastian Ravesteijn will present evidence on the emergence of skill and health gaps in the first years (first months!) of life.Ted Melhuish will discuss evidence on early interventions from the UK. Finally, there will be a round table discussion, where Janneke Plantenga (Utrecht University) will focus on the main policy lessons of the findings and the potential of early interventions to tackle inequalities in education and society at large.

International evidence on the development of gaps and the impact
of early interventions

Thomas van Huizen – Utrecht University, The Netherlands
Jan Skopek – Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin, Ireland

Early interventions and child outcomes – Evidence from the UK

Ted Melhuish – University of Oxford, United Kingdom

The childhood origins of the opportunity gap in the Netherlands

Bastian Ravesteijn – Erasmus University, The Netherlands

Round table discussion

Janneke Plantenga – Utrecht University, The Netherlands

 15.30 – 17.00 hrs    Room: Punt laag


3B. The case of the Roma: quest for the inner resources and supportive mechanisms across Europe

The case of the Roma: quest for the inner resources and supportive mechanisms across Europe.
Being identified as Roma presents in contemporary Europe both, social and analytical challenge. Data indicate persisting discriminatory practices, as well as worsening social conditions in regards to Roma people, at the same time, the debate about analytical promptness of the term “Roma” seems not to reach the satisfactory point of general agreement. During the ISOTIS integrative analytical work across the fieldwork in the Czech Republic, Greece and Portugal, it appeared, that it is still relevant to consider the iron curtain heritage when searching for the inner resources and supportive mechanisms in tackling inequality in education. The symposium will bring analytical framing by the ISOTIS researchers, as well as the round table interactive forum of promising practices that have three common denominators: co-creative nature incorporating the voice of Roma, interdisciplinary approach and international overreach.


Aljoša Rudaš – International Step by Step Association (ISSA)

Inner resources and supporting mechanisms for education in the case of Czech Roma families and the case of Greek Roma families

Kateřina Sidiropulu Janků – Masaryk University, the Czech Republic
Ioanna Strataki – Hellenic Open University, Patra, Greece

Presentation of promising practices

Petra Sitárová – Czech Republic, Romaňi Kereka, Ostrava City Library
Marek Kapusta- Slovakia, SUPERAR Slovakia
Milan Bindatsch – ZŠ Ibsenova, Ostrava City Library
Sandra Rodrigues, Agrupamento de Escolas de Coruche

Discussion and workshop

Kateřina Sidiropulu Janků – Masaryk University, the Czech RepublicIvan Šiller – Comenius University Bratislava, SUPERAR Slovakia.

 15.30 – 17.00 hrs    Room: Pandora foyer


3C. Acculturation & contact

Acculturation, the process of psychological and cultural change resulting from intercultural contact (Berry, 1997), is amongst the most studied predictors of immigrant adaptation.Overall, there is compelling evidence that an integration orientation is positively related to psychological adaptation (Benet-Martinez, 2013). However, a new ecological approach to acculturation (Ward & Geeraert, 2016) highlights the importance of looking at acculturation as a process of change that occurs in specific contexts (i.e., families – parents and children –, institutions – schools and organizations –, society – attitudes, policies), and is affected by the different factors and dynamics within each context. This symposium aims to discuss acculturation and intercultural contact in context, bringing together evidence from several studies conducted with different immigrant and minority groups.

Acculturation of the Turkish Second Generation in Six European Countries

George Groenewold –  Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute, Netherlands

Acculturation orientations, intergroup relations and well-being of Turkish and Maghrebian immigrant parents across Europe

Martine Broekhuizen- Utrecht University, the Netherlands 
Rita Guerra – ISCTE, Portugal / ISOTIS Team 

Acculturation Profiles of Turkish Immigrant Families in Europe and Case
Examples from Turkish Mothers

Ayça Alaylı -Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Hande Erdem-Möbius – Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
Martine Broekhuizen – Utrecht University, the Netherlands
Paul Leseman – Utrecht University, the Netherlands

 15.30 – 17.00 hrs    Room: Pandora



Conference Dinner

A tasty way to broaden your network!

Join the conference dinner and meet your colleagues in an informal setting. The dinner starts at 17.30 hrs in the foyer of the conference location and will end at 21.00 hrs.

Book your ticket

A ticket costs € 40 and includes dinner and drinks. You can book it via the online registration form.