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Luxembourg:Early Childhood Education and Care

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Overview Luxembourg

Contents

Luxembourg:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Luxembourg:Historical Development

Luxembourg:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Luxembourg:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Luxembourg:Political and Economic Situation

Luxembourg:Organisation and Governance

Luxembourg:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Luxembourg:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Luxembourg:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Luxembourg:Organisation of Private Education

Luxembourg:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Luxembourg:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Luxembourg:Funding in Education

Luxembourg:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Luxembourg:Higher Education Funding

Luxembourg:Adult Education and Training Funding

Luxembourg:Early Childhood Education and Care

Luxembourg:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 3 years

Luxembourg:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Luxembourg:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Luxembourg:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 3 years

Luxembourg:Teaching and Learning in Programmes for Children over 3 years

Luxembourg:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 3 years

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

Luxembourg:Primary Education

Luxembourg:Organisation of Primary Education

Luxembourg:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Luxembourg:Assessment in Primary Education

Luxembourg:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Luxembourg:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Luxembourg:Organisation of General Secondary Education

Luxembourg:Teaching and Learning in General Secondary Education

Luxembourg:Assessment in General Secondary Education

Luxembourg:Organisation of Vocational Secondary Education

Luxembourg:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Secondary Education

Luxembourg:Assessment in Vocational Secondary Education

Luxembourg:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

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

Luxembourg:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Luxembourg:Higher Education

Luxembourg:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Luxembourg:First Cycle Programmes

Luxembourg:Bachelor

Luxembourg:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Luxembourg:Second Cycle Programmes

Luxembourg:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Luxembourg:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Luxembourg:Adult Education and Training

Luxembourg:Distribution of Responsibilities

Luxembourg:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Luxembourg:Main Providers

Luxembourg:Main Types of Provision

Luxembourg:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Luxembourg:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

Luxembourg:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Luxembourg:Management and Other Education Staff

Luxembourg:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Luxembourg:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Luxembourg:Management Staff for Higher Education

Luxembourg:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Luxembourg:Quality Assurance

Luxembourg:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Luxembourg:Educational Support and Guidance

Luxembourg:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Luxembourg:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Luxembourg:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Luxembourg:Mobility and Internationalisation

Luxembourg:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Luxembourg:Mobility in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Luxembourg:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Luxembourg:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Luxembourg:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Luxembourg:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Luxembourg:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Luxembourg:National Reforms in School Education

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

Luxembourg:National Reforms in Higher Education

Luxembourg:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Luxembourg:European Perspective

Luxembourg:Legislation

Luxembourg:Institutions

Luxembourg:Bibliography

Luxembourg:Glossary


The field of early childhood education in Luxembourg is currently undergoing profound transformations. In recent years, a quantitative expansion has gone along with efforts to adapt the supply structure to a modern understanding of childhood and families’ needs (see Honig & Haag, 2012. Education and Care for Children in Luxembourg, p. 22). In 2009, formal ECEC became a part of a comprehensive elementary school (école fondamentale).

The process of transformation is far from over. Currently, new draft regulations on the accreditation (agrément) and the quality of childcare facilities are being discussed and a quality approach for non-formal education is to be introduced.


General objectives

Luxembourg’s current policy is based on an understanding of education which places the child and its entitlement to education in the centre of the attention. Children are understood as human beings who are naturally willing and eager to learn. National policy therefore aims at providing them with a stimulating environment and adapted learning opportunities within and outside school hours. The learning activities offered should endorse the children’s natural curiosity and respect their individual development while enabling them to pursue their own interests. Non-formal education should provide space for movement, discovery, free play and rest. During the children’s leisure time, tendencies towards school-like settings should be avoided.

In a recent brochure, the former Ministry of Family Affairs and Integration stated:

“Learning cannot be limited exclusively to formal processes taking place in schools and universities. Learning goes on in those institutions as well as in daily life and also comprises, besides the formal ones, non-formal and informal processes.”

(Ministry of Family Affairs and Integration, 2012. Non-Formal Education with Children and Young People.)


According to this understanding, a strong link between formal and non-formal education is key. Though regulated by different ministries, formal and non-formal education are meant to complement each other. Continuity between formal and non-formal settings should be guaranteed and there is no hierarchy between formal, non-formal and informal learning.

Furthermore, national ECEC policies seek to enable parents to better combine work and family life. They also play an important role in combatting social exclusion, which is linked to the reproduction of social inequalities through educational performance.


Structure of ECEC in Luxembourg

ECEC in Luxembourg may be characterised by

  • the distinction and the thought for complementarity between formal and non-formal provisions (split system)
  • various forms of State support available and
  • the coexistence of various types of public and private structures.


Split system

ECEC in Luxembourg distinguishes non-formal education, which takes place in the child’s private “leisure” time, from compulsory school attendance within the formal system.

Private time is spent in the child’s family, in day care centres (crèches, garderies, foyers du jour, maison relais), day care families (assistance parentale) or in other associations organising children’s activities (e.g. music, sports, scouts). It is generally fee-based, but the State provides financial support to parents and to certain types of structures. In the context of ECEC, non-formal education is understood as “work with children and young people in day care centres, in youth facilities or in youth organisations, where it deliberately pursues learning goals” (Ministry of Family Affairs and Integration, 2012. Non-Formal Education with Children and Young People).

Formal education is delivered by elementary schools. School attendance within the formal system is free of charge. From the age of 3 years onwards, children may participate in an early childhood education programme (enseignement précoce), which is not compulsory, but has to be offered by each municipality. Compulsory schooling starts at the age of 4 with pre-school education (enseignement préscolaire). Together, the optional year of early childhood education and the two years of pre-school education form the first cycle of elementary education (enseignement fondamental).

The following table provides an overview of formal and non-formal ECEC provision in Luxembourg.




Children under 3 years Children over 3 years
Non-formal system
(Ministry of Education, Children and Youth)

Day care centres
(crèches, gardéries)

Day care families
(assistance parentale)

Day care centres
(crèches, gardéries)

Day care families
(assistance parentale)

Formal system
(Ministry of Education, Children and Youth)

3-4 years

optional early childhood education programme
(enseignement précoce)

4-6 years

compulsory pre-school education
(enseignement préscolaire)


The main characteristics of non-formal and formal provisions are summarised below

Non-formal education Formal education
  • provided by public or private, non-profit or commercial childcare facilities, by associations or by day care families (assistants parentaux)
  • provided by elementary schools within the formal school system
  • National framework for non-formal education of children and young people
    (Cadre national de référence "Éducation non formelle des enfants et des jeunes")
  • process-oriented
  • pursuing specific learning objectives
    (basic skills levels - socles de compétences)
  • voluntary basis ("private" time)
  • during compulsory school time
  • fee-based but State-supported
  • free of charge


Types of structures

Non-formal ECEC is provided by different types of day care centres which may be public (run by municipalities), commercial or run by non-profit associations. In addition, there is a growing number of day care families (parental assistants –assistants parentaux), who provide their services on a commercial basis. Since December 2013, the responsibility for the coordination, accreditation and supervision of these provisions lies with the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth (MENJE - ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l'Enfance et de la Jeunesse). In order to bring the different fields of education and care closer together, the departments for Childhood and Youth, which formerly belonged to the Ministry of Family Affairs and Integration (MFIministère de la Famille et de l’Intégration), have been integrated into the Ministry of Education.

Formal ECEC is provided by elementary schools. Formal education is governed by the Ministry of Education, Children and Youth.

Coordination of the different types of education

In 2012, Luxembourg has introduced a new legal provision aimed at coordinating formal and non-formal education and care at municipal level. Each municipality is now obliged to set up one or several Plans for Extracurricular Education (PEP – Plan d’encadrement périscolaire) which includes all local formal and non-formal activities for school-aged children (i.e. cultural activities, sports, learning, meals). The municipality is responsible for the coordination and implementation of the plan.

The PEP should guarantee a continuous offer for education and care. . Its main objective is to offer stimulating learning activities and environments to children. It is also supposed to allow parents to better combine their work and family life.

Based on a timetable, the PEP specifies

  • formal school time
  • optional non-formal offers.

The following figure shows a blank template, with the yellow fields for formal school time and the green fields for non-formal offers.


Model for a Plan for Extracurricular Education

4 0 PEP Example.jpg
Source: MENFP & MFI, 2013. Plan d’encadrement périscolaire - PEP. Leitfaden zur Umsetzung des PEP. MENFP, p. 14.


The framework foresees a sharing of responsibilities which goes along with an obligation for both structures to cooperate: School activities fall into the responsibility of elementary schools whereas day care centres are in charge of the non-formal activities. Municipal infrastructures may be used for both purposes; other premises should be shared if possible.

In order to strengthen their cooperation, the participating institutions should organise

  • common activities for pupils
  • regular exchange between school presidents and managers of day care centres
  • presentations to parents and
  • common trainings for staff members of both institutions.

They may also conclude agreements which can go up to offering full-day care for children in one and the same setting.



State support

Up to the age of 4, parents bare the primary responsibility for the care and upbringing of their children. However, non-formal education and care below this age and outside school hours is supported by the State through the following instruments:

  • Co-financing of childcare facilities: The operational costs (frais de fonctionnement) of municipal day care centres are 75% state-funded. The remaining 25% as well as infrastructure costs are borne by the given municipality. The provider of a municipal day care centre may be the municipality itself or a non-profit organisation which holds a tripartite agreement (convention tripartite) with the municipality and the competent ministry.
  • Childcare-service vouchers: In 2009, state-funded "Childcare-service vouchers" (CSA - Chèques-Service Accueil) have been put in place in order to offer financial support to children and their families and to provide more equitable access to childcare. These vouchers offer differentiated price reductions for public and private day care centres, day care families and other non-formal activities. They are issued to parents of all children living in Luxembourg who are either younger than 13 years or who are still attending elementary education. Families benefitting from the Guaranteed Minimum Wage (RMG - Revenu minimum garanti) or who are identified as being at risk of poverty benefit from more favourable rates.

As part of the public school system, the optional (3- to 4 year-old pupils) and the compulsory (pupils aged 4 and over) years of elementary education are provided free of charge.


Legislation

Day care centres

Non-formal provisions are regulated by the laws and Grand-Ducal regulations on the accreditation of day care centres; the agreements (conventions) on State co-financing; and the relations between the State and structures providing social, family or therapeutical services.

Relations between the State and the structures providing social, family or therapeutical services

  • Loi du 8 septembre 1998 réglant les relations entre l'État et les organismes œuvrant dans les domaines social, familial et thérapeutique (ASFT).
  • Règlement grand-ducal du 20 décembre 2001 portant exécution des articles 1er et 2 de la loi du 8 septembre 1998 réglant les relations entre l'État et les organismes œuvrant dans les domaines social, familial et thérapeutique pour ce qui concerne l'agrément gouvernemental à accorder aux gestionnaires de structures d'accueil sans hébergement pour enfants.

Accreditation of maisons relais

Day care families


Cycle 1 of elementary education

Cycle 1 of elementary education is governed by the 2009 laws on elementary education.

Compulsory school attendance

Organisation of elementary education

Elementary school staff


Transversal instruments and other provisions

The legislative framework of ECEC is completed by the laws on childcare-service vouchers; the PEP; private schools; and on the National Children’s Office.

Private schools

  • Loi modifiée du 13 juin 2003 concernant les relations entre l'Etat et l'enseignement privé et portant abrogation des articles 83 à 87 de la loi modifiée du 10 août 1912 concernant l'organisation de l'enseignement primaire.

Child and Youth Welfare / National Children’s Office (ONE – Office national de l’enfance)

  • Loi du 16 décembre 2008 relative à l’aide à l’enfance et à la famille
  • Règlement grand-ducal du 17 août 2011 1. réglant l'organisation et le fonctionnement de l'Office national de l'enfance, et 2. modifiant le règlement grand-ducal modifié du 7 juin 1979 déterminant les actes, documents et fichiers autorisés à utiliser le numéro d'identité des personnes physiques et morales.

Childcare-service voucher

Plan for Extracurricular Education

  • Règlement grand-ducal du 16 mars 2012 portant a) exécution de l’article 16 de la loi du 6 février 2009 portant organisation de l’enseignement fondamental, relatif à l’encadrement périscolaire; b) modification du règlement grand-ducal du 17 décembre 2010 concernant l’assurance accident dans le cadre de l’enseignement précoce, préscolaire, scolaire et universitaire


Bibliography

Honig & Haag, 2012. Education and Care for Children in Luxembourg. Luxembourg: Ministry of Family Affairs and Integration.

MENFP & MFI, 2013. Plan d’encadrement périscolaire - PEP. Leitfaden zur Umsetzung des PEP. MENFP, Luxembourg.

MFI & SNJ, 2012. Non-Formal Education with Children and Young People. SNJ, Luxembourg.

Reinstadler, A., 2011.Luxembourg and France: Comparable Family Benefits, Comparable Fertility Levels?, Working Papers. CEPS/INSTEAD, Differdange.