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    A Common Language for the First 1000 Days

    Start date: 01-11-2019

    End date: 30-06-2021

    Programme: Erasmus+

    Key Action: Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices

    Action Type: Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training


    “A Common Language for the First 1000 Days” is an Erasmus+ project from the Key Action 2, dealing with the use of the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a tool for increasing communication among different professionals related to the child’s first 1000 days of life and promoting early detection of disabilities. The goal of “A Common Language for the First 1000 Days” project therefore consists in increasing knowledge and skills for multidisciplinary professionals within the first 1000 days by:

    a) Adapting the existing ICF training materials towards professionals working with toddlers and their families.

    b) Increasing the quality of cooperation processes by introducing a common language and comply with ongoing social-political processes.


    The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF), created by the WHO in 2001, represents a system to describe the abilities and the restrictions of a person with a health concern. As a part of the WHO classification family, the ICF contributes to an ability-focused approach. Based on approximately 1,400 codes, it depicts a holistic picture of early health and education processes of children with developmental difficulties. The ICF helps to increase the quality of ECEC-processes within the global strategies of “nurturing care” – bringing together health, nutrition, early learning, parental empathy, and safety. Other systems (ICD 10) focus on individual deficits and tend to rely on a medical understanding of disability. The ICF as a worldwide recognized meta-language provides this necessary common communication base between diverse sectors education (nursery), health, and other involved professionals, and it increases the quality of the early support services as all the involved groups within a team (including the parents) use one terminology. This participation of all the involved professionals increases the commitment and participation within the support process for children with developmental difficulties. Previous EU ICF-projects focused on awareness rising and training modules for preschool (www.icf-training.eu) and medical care (www.icfcy-meduse.eu).


    Intellectual Outcomes

    The project provisions production of two major intellectual outcomes:

    IO 1 – The first intellectual outcome of the project shall be tailor-made ICF training modules (in Macedonian, German, and Turkish language) for patronage nurses, early support services, and professionals in nurseries working with very small children, based on existing materials. Specific issues of age, as well as the connection between health, education/parenting and social aspect shall be addressed in this adaption, mainly focusing on a possible lack of diagnosis during these early stages of development. 

    IO 2 – The second intellectual outcome shall be a Quick Guide to ICF for professionals (concerning selected important items), intended to ensure that all the relevant professionals are familiar with ICF and are able to use it in daily life. The Guide is supposed to increase understanding between professionals and parents in the support processes for small children with developmental problems. 

    For more information on the intellectual outcomes, please visit the section Intellectual Outcomes of this web-site.




    my pictureAssociation for Promotion of Education, Culture and Sport “Education for All” (NGO in MK)

    my pictureAssociation of Nurses, Technicians, and Midwives of the Republic of Macedonia (Professional Association in MK)

    my pictureMedical School Hamburg (Research Institute in DE)

    my pictureDr. Pretis (SME in AT)

    my pictureDr. Dudu Melek Sabuncuoglu (SME in TR)

    The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.