KOMPAS is a conference that brings together experts in the field of early and preschool education and care. The aim of this conference is to connect participants from different levels of the educational system and to provide a platform for systematic, reciprocal and purposeful interaction aimed at promoting a culture of quality and professionalism in the system of early childhood education and care.

KOMPAS presents a way for the academic community to respond to current global, national and local challenges in the system of early childhood education and care. It provides a platform for constructive dialogue among various participants in the educational system.

KOMPAS kindly inviteS communities of practitioners in kindergartens, higher education institutions focused on the education of professional staff in kindergartens, the scientific community, representatives of educational policy and all other participants involved in early childhood education and care to take part in the Conference.

The concept of competent systems is set as a framework within which one can think about the quality and sustainable development of the professionalization of the system of early childhood education and care (Urban et al., 2012). This approach allows a significant shift from attributing solely individual responsibility for the quality of the educational process, to the responsibility of both the individual and other stakeholders of the overall system. Namely, the previous emphasis on a quality individual without whom there is no quality educational system has led to a one-dimensional interpretation of the complexity of the educational process.

Contrary to this simplified thinking, understanding competent systems or systems of reciprocal relations and reciprocal interaction between individuals (individual dimension), teams (institutional dimension), institutions (inter-institutional dimension) and the wider political context (political dimension) contributes to the development of quality educational processes in one's country (Urban i sur., 2012; Pirard i sur., 2018). In order for an entire system to search for quality, each of these dimensions must strive for competence. In defining the competencies Urban et al. (2012) position critical reflection at the center. Through these lenses, competencies cease to be a sum of knowledge, skills and attitudes and are transformed into a concept that strongly depends on the context in which they evolve. Through this framework, the responsibility for quality equally depends on each individual, on the whole system, but also on the quality of their mutual interaction. Following this conceptual framework, the organizers are opening a space for dialogue among all direct and indirect participants in the educational process (from practitioners to educational policy) as an integral part of competent systems of early childhood education and care.

Competent systems can also be considered within the following subthemes:

  • the child as a competent creator of knowledge and meaning
  • creating and maintaining a culture of responsive and reciprocal relationship in kindergarten in relation to the child, parents and the community
  • creating a culture of knowledge and critical reflection
  • identity of the educational profession and quality
  • inclusive culture, inclusive pedagogy and challenges of theory and practice
  • initial education of ECEC teachers and professional staff in the system of early childhood education and care
  • a contemporary view on lifelong learning and professional development
  • non-professional staff, assistants and communication mediators in kindergarten - the consequences of 'invisible' staff on the quality of the system
  • transitions within the system
  • qualitative research of early childhood education and care
  • global, European and Croatian education policy of early childhood education and care