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New Evidence-Based Practices uploaded to the European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) website
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New additions to the Evidence-Based Practice section

Raising the achievement of bilingual learners in primary schools
Emergent practice
UK, 2004 - Still operating

The practice was implemented in primary schools across the UK and consists of embedding and strengthening well-established English as Additional Language (EAL) pedagogy. The aim is to raise the achievement of bilingual learners and increase teacher confidence in meeting the needs of bilingual pupils. The practice consists of a wide range of teaching approaches that can be tailored to the needs of the school or teacher. It is not a new practice, although it is innovative in emphasising certain existing elements of EAL practice which are not common, such as enabling children to use their first language to learn.

Promising practice
UK, 2011 – Still operating

The FRIENDS protocol is designed to be delivered in both clinical and educational settings by teachers, psychologists, and allied health professionals. The programme is a manualised cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) intervention. It is based on the principles of CBT and aims to help children develop skills to counter the cognitive, emotional, and behavioural aspects of anxiety. It seeks to teach children to develop emotional awareness and regulation skills, identify and replace cognitions that increase anxiety with more balanced and functional ways of thinking, and to develop problem-solving skills to confront and cope with situations and events that provoke anxiety.

New addition to the User Registry

‘Special teachers’ approach in early childhood special education (ECSE)
Finland, 1996 – Still operating

The practice describes an inclusive ECSE trial model in ordinary kindergartens in Finland where the special teachers (s-teachers) were assigned to children with special needs. The ideology of inclusion along with the huge need for professional expertise in ordinary kindergartens formed the basis of the new model. The main goal of the special teachers’ model was to support children with special needs. Moreover, s-teachers provided existing staff with additional assistance and taught them new ways of working with children with special needs. Special teachers also provided general and special educational work and consultation with adults, particularly parents. This experimental model is now a permanent system and is a part of the national early childhood education and early childhood special education (ECSE) policy.

In the Spotlight
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Improved browsing experience and practice submission form for EPIC users

We have improved the ‘Search a practice’ function on the EPIC website. From now on, you can find a practice within the ‘Evidence based practices’ and 'Practice user registry' by searching for a wider range of characteristics of a practice, such as the practice’s mode of delivery or whether practice materials or cost information are available. You can also search by the policy pillars of the Recommendation for Investing in Children. Previous search options – for example, searching by practice name, policy category or evidence of effectiveness– have been maintained.

The practice submission form has also been adapted to ease the process of suggesting a practice for inclusion on the EPIC website. Clearer instructions about the information that we are looking for have been incorporated, as well as drop-down menus which will make submitting information about a practice simpler and faster.

EPIC evaluation framework presented at a conference in Geneva

EPIC’s evidence-based policy evaluation framework was presented at the Children’s Rights European Academic Network (CREAN) conference at the Uni Bastions in Geneva, Switzerland, held on the 18-19 January 2018. EPIC was presented as an example of a platform which supports the process of knowledge brokering and exchange of information in the EU context. The conference brought together perspectives from academia, policy-makers and professional partners on the role of children’s rights education and research in policy development.

Upcoming Events
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18 - 19/04/2018
Eurochild General Assembly 2018

The 2018 Eurochild General Assembly and Member’s Day will be held in Brussels in April 2018. The agenda will include the adoption of the new Strategic Plan.

28 - 30/05/2018
World Congress on Justice for Children

The event at UNESCO House, Paris, will bring together professionals and stakeholders to discuss topics in the field of youth and family justice and the prevention of offending and violent extremism. The event has been organised by a consortium comprising the International Association of Youth and Family Judges and Magistrates (IAYFJM), Terre des hommes Foundation, and Penal Reform International (PRI) with Child Rights International Network (CRIN), Defence for Children International (DCI), Judicial Training Institute of Belgium (IGO-IFJ) and the Information for All Programme (IFAP) of UNESCO.

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New reports examine importance of investing in early learning
Two new reports have been released on the subject of education in Europe. The OECD’s 2017 edition of 'Education at a Glance: OECD Indicators' and the European Agency for Special Needs and Inclusive Education (EASIE) study 'Inclusive education for learners with disabilities' provide a wealth of data and analysis on the key aspects related to education in EU countries and beyond.

Drawing on several educational data sources, the reports shed light on progress made across a range of indicators, current challenges facing educational systems, and perspectives on the future of education in Europe. One of the areas of focus in both reports is the subject of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC).

Combined EU School Fruit, Vegetables and Milk Scheme begins operating in European Schools
The EU School Fruit, Vegetables and Milk Scheme has become operational for the 2017-2018 academic year.

The €250 million scheme, which is delivered under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), provides funds to Member States to subsidise activities relating to the distribution of milk, fruit and vegetables to school children in EU Member States.

The European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) provides examples of evidence-based practices relating to encouraging fruit and vegetable consumption amongst children:

TigerKids, a programme developed in Germany to enhance regular physical activity and to modify habits of food and drink consumption in preschool children and tested in two cluster randomised controlled trials.

Pro Children, a programme run in the Netherlands from 2003-2005 which combined a fruit and vegetable curriculum in the classroom with efforts to improve fruit and vegetable provision at schools and at home.

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The EPIC team is interested in your feedback on user experiences with EPIC (in particular the Practices that Work section). Aspects that are of interest are for example: How do people use the information posted on EPIC? Do national experts and practitioners work with the information posted on EPIC? Do practitioners and decision-makers use the collected Evidence-Based Practices? Please email us at
European Platform for Investing in Children
The European Platform for Investing in Children (EPIC) wants to provide information about all policies that can help children and their families face up to the unprecedented challenges that exist in the current economic climate in Europe. This is an occasional electronic newsletter intended for anyone with an interest in the information provided by EPIC.