This research group is led by the teachers Maria Renata Alonso Mota e Simone Santos de Albuquerque, and registered in CNPq, was formed in 1996 under the name Nucleus of Study and Research into 0-6 Year-Old Children Education (NEPE), developing teaching, research and extension activities, aiming at contributing to both the debate and deepening of themes related to childhoods and Children Education. In 1997, NEPE researchers started a study to gather data about institutions of Children Education in Rio Grande/RS, considering the professionals and children that attended those institutions. This resulted in the research called Demand for Nursery Schools and Pre-Schools in Rio Grande. Those early studies caused other investigation themes to emerge, as well as teaching and extension actions directed to training professionals in the fields of Children Education and early grades of Elementary School.
NEPE has developed three major research lines: Curriculum and Training for Children Education Teachers; Childhoods, Children and Children Cultures; and Public Education Policies. Presently, the themes investigated comprise studies of children cultures; articulation between Children Education and early grades of Elementary School; teacher education processes; inclusion of six-year-old children in Elementary School; school inclusion; (re)configurations of care/education in the contemporary context; and logics and cultures of young children education in family contexts. Such studies have broadened the investigation themes, not only comprehending childhoods and Children Education, but also the schooling processes in the early grades of Elementary School. This move resulted, in 2011, in changing the name of the Nucleus to Nucleus of Study and Research into Childhood Education.
NEPE has participated in the meetings of research groups from different Universities in the south of the State, aiming at both constituting a forum of discussion about childhoods and Children Education in the south of the country and sharing the results of studies carried out by those groups. Such action has resulted in the development of an inter-institutional investigation with the participation of different research groups in the State of Rio Grande do Sul. The aim is to study, question and reflect on the symbolic languages as an alternative to young children education. It is also worth highlighting the participation of one of the NEPE’s researchers in the research called Consultation about the Quality of Children Education, in a partnership with the National Campaign for the Right to Education/MIEIB and Save the Children, thus consolidating NEPE as an important reference for researchers, teachers and managers that develop practices and policies for 0-6 year-old children
Besides those actions, we highlight the involvement of NEPE in political mobilizations related to Children Education through its effective participation in the Inter-Forums Movement of Children Education in Brazil, in the meetings of the Gaucho Forum of Children Education and in the Forum of Children Education in the South of Rio Grande do Sul. We should also emphasize that the research group has actively participated in the reformulations of the Pedagogy courses in FURG, by carrying out studies that have significantly contributed to the discussion about the curriculum of these courses.