Bambini Bicocca was founded in 2005 as an early childhood education service for the university and surrounding area, and as a laboratory that offers training to educational staff and education students, explores innovative ways of organizing and managing early childhood facilities, and conducts research on the professional development of early childhood educators. Its research and training activity is linked to the work of the early childhood education research group coordinated by Susanna Mantovani, and is focused on the following areas:
In 2008, Bambini Bicocca led the setting up of a network of university infant-toddler centres by organizing seminars and launching a shared monitoring instrument. It participates in both national and international research and training projects, including the research project “Teachers’ Behavior Analysis in Infant-Toddler Centers: Instruments and Methods for Training within a Cross-National Research Project” conducted jointly with the University of Tennessee/Knoxville, and the EU project Curriculum Quality Analysis and Impact Review of European ECEC – http://ecec-care.org/).
Bambini Bicocca organizes training courses, educator/teacher training placements and study visits for early childhood educators and students. It operates exchange programmes with other institutions/early childhood services in Italy and abroad. As the Consorzio Bambini Bicocca, formed by the University of Milano-Bicocca and the social cooperatives Genera onlus and Or.s.a onlus, it offers consultancy services in the organization and management of early childhood education facilities.
The Bambini Bicocca project received the Sodalitas Social Award 2013 for the category “Social responsibility projects implemented by public institutions and organizations”.