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Mentoring and learning partnersip in ECEC

The key project advances the professional development of ECEC teachers and leaders through mentoring. The project highlights the continuum from initial ECEC teacher education to transition into the world of work and learning in working life. The focus for initial education is to develop the supervision of ECEC student teachers work-based learning periods. Work-based learning at day-care centres will be supervised by mentors trained on the key projects mentor training course. Mentors trained will also provide ECEC teachers with support during the early stages of their working lives. Mentors will also be trained to support the professional development of ECEC leaders.


The key project is scheduled to run from 2017 to 2020. The training programme consists of two training courses: mentor training for ECEC teachers and mentor training for ECEC leaders. The mentor training course for ECEC teachers started in the spring of 2018 and ended in the autumn of 2018. The training course for ECEC leaders started in the autumn of 2018. Exploring induction practices as part of a mentors job will be done 2019.


The need to develop relevant supporting practices stems from the new and changing demands of ECEC. At the same time, ECEC leadership structures have also changed and there have been discussions about coaching the leaders. While the significance of mentoring during the early career stages has been proven, mentoring has not as yet become an established practice in ECEC.

The aim is to create a model to support the professional development of ECEC teachers and of those starting out as ECEC leaders and to build a continuum from initial teacher education to the world of work and learning in working life. The key objectives are to develop supervision of work-based learning (teaching practice) during education through high-quality mentor training; to support the early career stages in ECEC.

Funding source

Ministery of Education and Culture

Contact persons

Päivi Kupila

Project leader

paivi.kupila [at]

+358 50 318 6970