Within the scope of the SEED-project, regular meetings between all project partners from the Netherlands, UK and Germany are a vital part of the international cooperation. They allow for a continuous exchange between the project partners with regard to their planned and achieved progress within the six work packages: (1) The dynamics of families and parenting and their association with child development over time; (2) The institutional educational environment and its changing capacity to reduce the impact of social disadvantage on child development; (3) Interrelations between developmental domains and the accumulation of risk, (4) The implications of social inequalities in clinical populations; (5) Conceptualising risk mitigation and intervention; (6) Knowledge valorisation and dissemination.
At the beginning of this year, the first SEED-meeting was held in Newcastle (England). There, important starting points and strategies for the international comparative study of mechanisms, on how social inequality affects early child development as well as on how changings in social backgrounds are influencing the development of children and school attainment, were paramount.
The main focus of the second meeting in Bamberg was on preliminary country-specific analyses and their international comparability. The Dutch team showed first analyses on child development under consideration of maternal health using the Generation R Study (GenR). The UK team presented preliminary analyses utilizing data from the Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), Growing up in Scotland (GuS) and The British Cohort Study 1970 (BCS70). Finally, the German team, which consists of members from both the LIfBi and the University of Bamberg, concentrated on changes in socioeconomic characteristics (e.g., education) over time using the Infant Cohort Study (NEPS-SC1) and the Kindergarten Cohort Study (NEPS-SC2) from the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) and the Kindergarten Cohort Study from the research group “educational processes, competence development and selection decisions in preschool- and school age” (BiKS). The time-changing aspect of socioeconomic characteristics between all three countries were a particularly an interesting topic for discussion: At a first glance, there seems to be more educational mobility after the birth of a child in the Netherlands and the UK than in Germany.
Furthermore, Claudia Labisch, Head of Office of the Leibniz Association, participated at the 2nd SEED-meeting and introduced the attractiveness of the SEED-project for policy makers at the European Union level, where a High Quality Early Childhood Education and Care Systems is widely debated.
At the same time, Professor W. Steven Barnett enriched the 2nd meeting with interessting discussions and held a talk on „Persistent benefits from preschool at scale: Why do we fail to reproduce the results of earlier studies, how can we improve success?“.
The next SEED-meeting is scheduled for January 2019 and will be hosted in Rotterdam (The Netherlands).