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Estonia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

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Overview Estonia

Contents

Estonia:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Estonia:Historical Development

Estonia:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Estonia:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Estonia:Political and Economic Situation

Estonia:Organisation and Governance

Estonia:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Estonia:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Estonia:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Estonia:Organisation of Private Education

Estonia:National Qualifications Framework

Estonia:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Estonia:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Estonia:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Estonia:Funding in Education

Estonia:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Estonia:Higher Education Funding

Estonia:Adult Education and Training Funding

Estonia:Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:Organisation

Estonia:Teaching and Learning

Estonia:Assessment

Estonia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:Single Structure Education (Integrated Primary and Lower Secondary Education)

Estonia:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

Estonia:Upper Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Estonia:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Teaching and Learning in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Estonia:Higher Education

Estonia:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Estonia:First Cycle Programmes

Estonia:Bachelor

Estonia:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Estonia:Second Cycle Programmes

Estonia:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Estonia:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Estonia:Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Distribution of Responsibilities

Estonia:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Estonia:Main Providers

Estonia:Main Types of Provision

Estonia:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Estonia:Teachers and Education Staff

Estonia:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Management and Other Education Staff

Estonia:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Estonia:Management Staff for Higher Education

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Estonia:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Quality Assurance

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Estonia:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Educational Support and Guidance

Estonia:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Estonia:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Estonia:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Estonia:Mobility and Internationalisation

Estonia:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Mobility in Higher Education

Estonia:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Estonia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Estonia:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Estonia:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Estonia:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Estonia:National Reforms in School Education

Estonia:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Estonia:National Reforms in Higher Education

Estonia:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Estonia:European Perspective

Estonia:Legislation

Estonia:Glossary

The national curriculum for preschool child care institutions allows preschool child care institutions to apply alternative pedagogy. Some of the privately owned preschool child care institutions use alternative pedagogical methods that correspond to the institution's general approach (Waldorf-preschool child care institutions, Christian preschool child care institutions, etc.). Alternative pedagogy is also implemented in preschool child care institutions for children with special needs. Pedagogues are responsible for the effectiveness of the methods of instruction they use.

Among private preschool child care institutions, also English language based preschool child care institutions exist (for children of the relevant community).

Most preschool child care institutions where the language of instruction is Russian are municipal preschool institutions. Traditionally, child care institutions have been divided according to the language of instruction into Estonian and Russian, or they were mixed. The need for forming groups with Russian as the language of instruction is consistently diminishing since an increasing number of parents want their children to attend groups instructed in Estonian. Since 2009, the state has financed studies of Estonian as a second language in preschool child care institutions, including the purchase of study materials. Support has been allocated for providing language training for 3-7-year-old children in groups with a language of instruction other than Estonian and promoting language immersion, and to groups providing support study of Estonian as a second language.  

The most widespread methodologies put into practice in preschool child care institutions are the so-called Step-by-Step Methodology, Reggio Emilia approach and Montessori approach, the environment of which allows also the application of other active teaching methodologies (discovery learning).

A growing tendency is to provide hobby classes in child care institutions for both children attending preschools and those staying at home. Hobby classes operate both for the children of preschool age and for their parents. Attending such classes may be free of charge for the parents or it may have minimum fees (financially supported by local governments).

At preschool child care institutions there are play groups and Estonian language study groups for children staying at home; such groups are generally payable but are sometimes supported by local governments.

The so-called "baby schools" for children of 2 to 8 months of age and their parents are very popular. Baby-schools operate both in the municipal preschool child care institutions and as private institutions and are, as a rule, payable for parents. In baby schools, the development of a child’s creativity is supported through music, rhythm and manual activities. Primarily, the result of baby schools is that parents together with the child acquire skills to act together.

With a view to ensuring access to high quality preschool education and childcare for all children aged 1.5 to 7 years whose parents so request, a common preschool and childcare system based on the needs of children and families is being developed. The provisions regulating childcare services will be removed from the Social Welfare Act and preschool child care institutions and childcare service providers will be subject to a common Preschool Education Act, which decreases over-regulation and provides local governments with greater decision-making powers on organisational issues. The professional standard for child minders is under revision; increased attention shall be devoted to the competencies related to supporting a child’s development and special needs.  


Legislative References

Social Welfare Act