Pedagogical territorial coordination: a qualitative systematic review and a comparative analysis of regional implementation models

Within the institution of the integrated Italian Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) system for children aged 0-6, a central aspect is the quality of services, besides their quantity. Legislative Decree 65/2017 provides for the establishment of Pedagogical Territorial Coordination groups (PTCs), to ensure forms of connection among different types of formative offer within a local territory, from creches to integrative services up to preschools. In this contribution, we closely examine recent developments in this governance mechanism, through a qualitative exploration of the PTCs activated in Italian regions, a systematic literature review and an in-depth analysis of the Veneto case. We aim to know more about how PTCs are being organized. Results show that strong regional disparities persist in the way PTCs are conceived of and their definition presents different interpretations. The main difficulty lies in the concrete implementation of a multilevel model of governance. Implications for other countries are examined.