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Latvia:Early Childhood Education and Care

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Overview Latvia

Contents

Latvia:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Latvia:Historical Development

Latvia:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Latvia:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Latvia:Political and Economic Situation

Latvia:Organisation and Governance

Latvia:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Latvia:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Latvia:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Latvia:Organisation of Private Education

Latvia:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Latvia:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Latvia:Funding in Education

Latvia:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Latvia:Higher Education Funding

Latvia:Adult Education and Training Funding

Latvia:Early Childhood Education and Care

Latvia:Organisation of Programmes for all Pre-Primary Education

Latvia:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for all Pre-Primary Education

Latvia:Assessment in Programmes for all Pre-Primary Education

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

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

Latvia:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Latvia:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Latvia:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Latvia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

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

Latvia:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Latvia:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

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

Latvia:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Latvia:Higher Education

Latvia:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Latvia:First Cycle Programmes

Latvia:Bachelor

Latvia:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Latvia:Second Cycle Programmes

Latvia:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Latvia:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Latvia:Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Distribution of Responsibilities

Latvia:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Latvia:Main Providers

Latvia:Main Types of Provision

Latvia:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Latvia:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

Latvia:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Latvia:Management and Other Education Staff

Latvia:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Latvia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Latvia:Management Staff for Higher Education

Latvia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Latvia:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Latvia:Quality Assurance

Latvia:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Latvia:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Educational Support and Guidance

Latvia:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Latvia:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Latvia:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Latvia:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Latvia:Mobility and Internationalisation

Latvia:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Latvia:Mobility in Higher Education

Latvia:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Latvia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Latvia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Latvia:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Latvia:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Latvia:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Latvia:National Reforms in School Education

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

Latvia:National Reforms in Higher Education

Latvia:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Latvia:European Perspective

Latvia:Legislation

Latvia:Glossary

National Policy

Early childhood education and care system in Latvia is child oriented: the focus is on the child and his/her right to develop and learn. According to the Protection of the Rights of the Child Law:

A child has the right to such living conditions and benevolent social environment as will ensure his or her full physical and intellectual development. Every child shall receive adequate nourishment, clothing and housing. (..) The State shall ensure that all children have equal rights and opportunities to acquire education commensurate to their ability. Children have the right to free-of-charge pre-school preparation”.

Since the adoption of the Education Law in 1999 a pre-school education become a central component of Early childhood education and care in Latvia. According to the Education Law pre-school education is:

an educational level in which multi-dimensional development of the child as an individual, in the strengthening of health and preparation for the acquisition of primary education takes place”.

Types of Institutions

In Latvia, children are prepared for school at pre-school education institutions pirmsskolas izglītības iestāde (bērnudārzs) and pre-school education groups at schools pirmsskolas izglītības grupas pie skolām registered in the Register of Educational Institutions and providing licensed pre-school education programmes. Pre-school education can be provided also by families. If the family educates the child at home, it may receive methodological support at the consultative centres of pre-school education. Pre-school education program for children with special needs is implemented in special pre-school educational establishments and groups.

Due to shortage of places in public pre-school education institutions, especially in the capital Rīga many children development and play centres were opened both by municipality and private persons, as alternative to pre-school education institutions. The purpose of these centres is to provide child minding services so that parents can access the labour market. As a rule, these centres also provide education activities for children.

In 2013, in order to tackle the existing shortage of places in kindergartens, Ministry of Welfare developed the regulations "Requirements for child care providers and the procedure of registration of child care providers" (2013) and respective Procedure for granting and calculating State support for children from the age of one and a half till acquisition of basic education, if the child receives services from private child care service provider. These regulations provide that, acquiring 40 hours of training and provision of first aid, anyone who hasn’t made violation of the Rights of the Child Protection Act for or criminal violations may become a child-minder, receiving EUR 142 per month compensation from the state.

Content and Objectives

The Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers on State Pre-school Education Guidelines (2012) defines the main aim of pre-school education and main tasks, describes the pedagogical process of pre-school education, defines the content and learning outcomes of pre-school education, and describes how the evaluation process is organized.

The aim of pre-school education curriculum is to promote a comprehensive and harmonious child’s development, considering his or her regularity of development and needs, the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude for individual and social life, thus ensuring a child’s possibility to prepare for basic education acquisition.

The objectives of pre-school education are to:
•    promote the development of child’s physical abilities and motor learning;
•    promote the development of child's self-confidence, awareness of own abilities and interests, and development of feelings and will;
•    promote the child’s cognitive development and intellectual curiosity by ensuring the acquisition of knowledge and skills;
•    develop child’s communication and cooperation skills;
•    promote a positive attitude towards him/herself, others, environment and the Latvian State.

The content of pre-school educational programme is encompassed in general pre-school education programme, pre-school education programme for ethnic minorities, special pre-school education programme and special pre-school education programme for ethnic minorities.

Teaching Process and Assessment

Pre-school education teaching process is based on the principles of humanism, visuality and continuity.

The main activity in the pre-school education is play and the learning objectives are realized by integrated educational approach.

Knowledge, skills and attitude is being assessed orally, emphasizing the positive and significant in his or her activities and achievements.
After completion of pre-school education programme the parents or guardians are written informed on their child achievements (knowledge, skills and attitude regarding the planned curriculum outcomes).

Legislative Framework

In compliance to the law On Local Governments it is a duty of every local government to ensure a possibility to acquire the pre-school education for the children residing in the territory of the municipality. The founders of pre-school education institutions are local governments (for public pre-schools) or physical or legal entities (for private pre-schools). The decision on foundation, reorganization and closing of the institution should be co-coordinated with the municipality’s board of education and the Ministry of Education and Science.

Pre-school education in Latvia is a part of general education. Starting from 2002, pre-school education is compulsory for five and six year old children.

The legal background for pre-school institutions is the Education Law, the General Education Law, Regulation of the Cabinet of Ministers on Guidelines for Pre-school Education and Model Programmes for Pre-school Education, other regulatory enactments regarding health and safety as well as the regulation of the institution approved by the founder.