Fostering of literacy competences plays a key role in promoting social cohesion and reducing economic
and social disparities. Quality ECE lays the foundations for later success in life in terms of education, well-being, employability, and social integration, and is especially important for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. In 5 of the 7 partner countries the average percentage of early leavers is higher than the EU average. Only Belgium and the enlargement country Bosnia and Herzegovina have better scores. At least 4 of the 7 partner countries (no data from BiH) have scores below the OECD average in the Pisa2019 Reading test. This READ project fully meets the needs of the EU to modernize and improve the quality of early education, increase key competences, and professional development of teachers and educators, also thanks to international cooperation and exchange of good practices. The methodology of the project is based on mutual learning between partners and the exchange of good practices. This has been realised through short-term joint staff training activities organised in each partner country. The goal of the project was to compose an international collection of good practices that support the development of basic reading skills before the actual learning to read process begins. The training activities all focussed on the observation of development activities of literacy competences for pre-school children, and of the reading activities in primary school. For this purpose, a uniform observation scheme was developed to observe the good practices, services offered, and the quality of teaching and training materials. Additionally, the trainings created interesting opportunities to collect data and exchange about the social, cultural and educational contexts, strategies, policies, involved stakeholders (public and/or private). Each country also conducted a literacy competence survey for educators, teachers and parents. A summary of each survey, as well as the observation results are included in this publication.