Family-centred Early Childhood Intervention: How to make it work

The conference focused on ECI, the services for families and children that need special support to enhance their personal development.

On 8th - 9th June 2023 EASPD, Down Syndrome Albania (DSA), UNICEF and Help the Life Association co-organised the Conference, “Family-centred Early Childhood Intervention: How to make it work”, in Tirana. The conference focused on Early Childhood Intervention (ECI), the services for families and children that need special support to enhance their personal development, on best practices and on what it is needed to structure a functioning ECI services system. Part of the conference focused on the EASPD-UNICEF cooperation to develop emergency early childhood development actions to support young children at risk or with developmental difficulties affected by the Ukraine war.

Find the full conference programme here.

The conference objectives included:

  • Raising public awareness around family-centred ECI benefits and functioning
  • Highlighting good practices and methodologies in the field of ECI
  • Sharing the experience of service provision to Ukraine refugees in neighbouring countries
  • Zooming in on the Balkans, highlighting specific challenges and opportunities for the region
  • Discussing the creation of national ECI systems and the role of the EU in facilitating it
  • Encouraging greater commitment of policy makers in prioritising ECI and Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) policies across Europe.

Read the conference conlcusions here.

Find all the conference videos here.

Have a look at what happened in Tirana, all the pictures are available here.

Presentations and videos


Keynote speeches

Video of the speeches

Milica Pejovic - Why focus on early years 

Emily Vargas-Baron,RISE Institute - Family-centred ECI what does it mean and why it works 

Panel 1: ECI principles in practice

Video of Panel 1

Irene Bertana - Key principles of family-centred ECI, according to the EASPD position paper “Family-centred ECI: the best start in life”

Video message of Yiannis Frantzeskakis: His family's journey with AMIMONI Greece to assist his daughter Artemis

Panel 2: Building and strengthening national ECI systems

Video of Panel 2

Aleksandra Jovic, Flavia Shehu - Building national ECI systems

Camille Roux - Family centered ECI as holistic family support 

Marit Recourt-Vollebregt - Dutch ECI model

Miguel Valles - The Portuguese national system 

Liana Mkhatvari - Looking for Solutions: Georgian ECI Model

Dr. Snezana Ilic - A pathway towards resourceful network of ECI services in Serbia

Panel 3: ECI in the context of emergency and displacement

Video of Panel 3

Presentations of Panel 3 

Anna Kukuruza, ECI in the emergency context

Panel 4: How to use existing policy and financial instruments to advance ECI in Europe

Video of Panel 4

Video message of Katarina Ivanković Knežević, DG Employment, European Commission

Video message of Katrin Langensiepen,  Member of the European Parliament  

Melita Čusek, Monika Begović - ECI in the context of EU policies – Case Study Croatia

Dorina Giouroukou - Technical Support Instrument (TSI)


Workshop 1: ECI Situation analysis and lessons learnt from UNICEF in North Macedonia and Montenegro (Video of Workshop 1)

Workshop 2: The use of Person-Centred Technologies in ECI

Workshop 3: Early identification of developmental difficulties in children

Workshop 4: Methodologies and findings on collecting good practices in family support

Workshop 5: Routine-based Intervention and home visiting 

Workshop 6: Storytelling of family support: the experience of the ECDUR project

Workshop 7: Roadmaps to national ECI system building and ECI Greece project and its policy journey, the lesson learned (Video of Workshop 7)

Workshop 8: Training parents: The Denver Mode and “Now and Next”

Workshop 9: Parental and ECI professional burnout, definition and strategies for preventing it

Workshop 10: The transition to ECEC: tools for the inclusion of children with disabilities

Postcards from Tirana!

Have a look at what happened in Tirana, all the pictures are available here.