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Norway:Early Childhood Education and Care

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Overview Norway

Contents

Norway:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Norway:Historical Development

Norway:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Norway:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Norway:Political and Economic Situation

Norway:Organisation and Governance

Norway:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Norway:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Norway:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Norway:Organisation of Private Education

Norway:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Norway:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Norway:Funding in Education

Norway:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Norway:Higher Education Funding

Norway:Adult Education and Training Funding

Norway:Early Childhood Education and Care

Norway:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Norway:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Norway:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

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

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

Norway:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Norway:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Norway:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Norway:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

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

Norway:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Norway:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Norway:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Norway:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Norway:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Norway:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Norway:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Norway:Higher Education

Norway:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Norway:First Cycle Programmes

Norway:Bachelor

Norway:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Norway:Second Cycle Programmes

Norway:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Norway:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Norway:Adult Education and Training

Norway:Distribution of Responsibilities

Norway:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Norway:Main Providers

Norway:Main Types of Provision

Norway:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Norway:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

Norway: Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Norway:Management and Other Education Staff

Norway:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Norway:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Norway:Management Staff for Higher Education

Norway:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Norway:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Norway:Quality Assurance

Norway:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Norway:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Norway:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Norway:Educational Support and Guidance

Norway:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Norway:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Norway:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Norway:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Norway:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Norway:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Norway:Mobility and Internationalisation

Norway:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Norway:Mobility in Higher Education

Norway:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Norway:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Norway:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Norway:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Norway:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Norway:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Norway:National Reforms in School Education

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

Norway:National Reforms in Higher Education

Norway:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Norway:European Perspective

Norway:Legislation

Norway:Glossary

 

In Norway Early Childhood and Care is for children under school age, less than six years old. Participation is voluntary. Municipalities are responsible for the development and supervision of both private and municipal institutions and for ensuring that institutions are run according to goals set by the national Government. Pre-primary institutions are generally referred to as kindergartens. In Norwegian they are called barnehage, which is a direct translation of the German word Kindergarten.

Se also OECD – Thematic Review of Early Education and Care Policy in Norway 2015

Specific Legislative Framework

Until the end of 2005, pre-primary institutions were the responsibility of the Ministry of Children and Family Affairs. They are now the responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Research.

Pre-primary institutions are defined as pedagogical undertakings for children under school age, e.g. for children less than six years. The Kindergarten Act No 64 of 17 June 2005, in force from 1 January 2006, regulates the authorisation, operation and supervision of the institutions. The institutions must be approved by local authorities.

A new objects clause in section 1 in the Kindergarten Act and ensuing amendments in the Act relating to kindergartens entered into force 1st of August 2010. The new objects clause regulates core values in the kindergarten and how this institution can contribute to develop the child, the family and the society.

The Ministry has established regulations in accordance with the Act, among these is the Framework Plan (national curriculum) for the Content and Tasks of Kindergartens. The new Framework Plan was laid down 1 March 2006. All approved institutions, both municipal and privately owned, are obliged to follow the Act and the Framework Plan.</font> Municipalities have since 1984 had a legal obligation to provide a sufficient amount of places in kindergarten institutions. An amendment concerning an individual, legal right to a place in kindergarten institution was introduced and put into effect in 2009. The municipalities are obliged to provide a kindergarten place for children that have applied for a place and who are one year by the end of August in the year of admittance.

The municipalities are the local authorities for kindergarten institutions. At present, almost half of the kindergartens are provided by private organisations under municipal supervision.

The municialities cover a great part of the annual costs, 75 - 80 %, of all approved institutions, private or public. In addition parents pay a monthly fee. There are regulations concerning maximum parents’ fees. The Government gives the municipalities special grants to improve the language skills of and integrate minority language children.

General Objectives

Pre-primary institutions serve a dual function: they contribute to the education of children of pre-primary age, and they provide care during parents' working hours. Norwegian kindergartens are founded on a holisitic approach to care and learning and respect for the value of childhood in itself.

Kindergartens shall be pedagogical undertakings that give children below school age good opportunities for development and activities. Kindergartens shall give children a safe and stimulating community, as well as individual support and care.

Good, moderately priced and accessible places in kindergarten institutions are important in order to give all children equal opportunities. Language enhancement for all children is an essential objective in kindergartens, especially for improving knowledge of the Norwegian language for children with minority language parents (immigrants). It may contribute to helping children in families with different types of problems. Early intervention is one of the governments main efforts to achieve the goal of equal possibilities for learning and to equalize social differences.

The national curriculum, the Framework Plan for the Content and Tasks of Kindergartens, states the general aims of pre-primary education. The plan must be used by all kindergartens and is based on the Nordic tradition of combining education and care.

After a period with high increase in the number of kindergarten places, introduction of maximum parental fees and a legal entitlement to a place in kindergarten, the government now concentrates more on quality in and the content of kindergartens.

The Norwegian Government has three goals for quality work in ECEC:
- Ensure equity and high quality in all kindergartens
- Strengthen the kindergarten as an arena for learning and development
- Make sure that all children have the opportunity to participate actively in a safe and inclusive kindergarten environment. . White Paper No 41 2008-2009 Quality in ECEC and White Paper No 24 2012-2013 "The future kindergarten" lays the foundation for the government’s policy in the ECEC area.