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Portugal:Early Childhood Education and Care

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Overview Portugal

Contents

Portugal:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Portugal:Historical Development

Portugal:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Portugal:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Portugal:Political and Economic Situation

Portugal:Organisation and Governance

Portugal:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Portugal:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Portugal:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Portugal:Organisation of Private Education

Portugal:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Portugal:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Portugal:Funding in Education

Portugal:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Portugal:Higher Education Funding

Portugal:Adult Education and Training Funding

Portugal:Early Childhood Education and Care

Portugal:Organisation of Programmes for Children under 3 years

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

Portugal:Assessment in Programmes for Children under 3 years

Portugal:Organisation of Programmes for Children over 3 years

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

Portugal:Assessment in Programmes for Children over 3 years

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

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

Portugal:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Portugal:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

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

Portugal:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Portugal:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

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

Portugal:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Portugal:Higher Education

Portugal:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Portugal:First Cycle Programmes

Portugal:Bachelor

Portugal:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Portugal:Second Cycle Programmes

Portugal:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Portugal:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Portugal:Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Distribution of Responsibilities

Portugal:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Portugal:Main Providers

Portugal:Main Types of Provision

Portugal:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Portugal:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

Portugal:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Portugal:Management and Other Education Staff

Portugal:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Portugal:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Portugal:Management Staff for Higher Education

Portugal:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Portugal:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Portugal:Quality Assurance

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Portugal:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Educational Support and Guidance

Portugal:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Portugal:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Portugal:Mobility and Internationalisation

Portugal:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Portugal:Mobility in Higher Education

Portugal:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Portugal:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Portugal:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Portugal:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Portugal:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Portugal:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Portugal:National Reforms in School Education

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

Portugal:National Reforms in Higher Education

Portugal:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Portugal:European Perspective

Portugal:Legislation

Portugal:Institutions

Portugal:Glossary

The Framework Law of Pre-School Education (Law no. 5/97, 10th February) defines pre-primary education as the first step of the Portuguese Education System in a lifelong learning process, and as a complement of parent’s role in their children's education, with whom the school should establish a close relationship, favouring child development, in order to assure their full integration in society as an autonomous, free and supportive human being.

Pre-primary education is an optional cycle for children from 3 to 5 year-olds. In 2009, the Government established the universality of pre-primary education for children over 5 years old (Law no. 85/2009, 27 th August). From the school year of 2016/17 on the universality of pre-primary education will be extended to 4 years old children (Law no. 65/2015, 3rd July), and the government has declared the intention of extending its universality to all the 3 years old children until the end of 2019.

In Portugal, the pre-school education covers children from 3 years up to the age of entry to compulsory schooling. There is a public and a private network of pre-primary education institutions, which are complementary.

The Public network is composed of education institutions under the Ministry of Education (ME) and the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security (MTSSS). The private network is composed of for-profit and non-profit education institutions. Those are private and cooperative education institutions, in the first case, and private institutions for social solidarity (IPSS), in the second case.

Pedagogical tutelage is the responsibility of the Ministry of Education. Thus, the Ministry of Education is responsible for ensuring the pedagogical quality of teaching in pre-primary education institutions network.

The main pedagogical objectives of pre-primary education are:

  • To promote children’s personal and social development;
  • to foster children’s integration into diverse social groups;
  • to contribute to equal opportunities;
  • to stimulate children's global development;
  • to promote expression and communication development;
  • to enhance curiosity and critical thinking;
  • to provide children with situations of well-being and security;
  • to identify maladjustments, disabilities or giftedness and to encourage families to participate in the educative process.

Pre-primary education is guaranteed nationally and must be administered in recognised pre-primary educational establishments (Law nº5/97, 10th February) or in other words, nursery schools.

Educational provision geared towards children under three is made up of:

  • Child-minders certified by the Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security
  • family crèches (a group of between 12 and 20 child-minders that live in same geographical area and are supported by Social Security, the Misericórdias or by a private institutions for social solidarity (IPSS).

In Portugal, the network is organized into school clusters that consist of: pre-primary; first, second and third cycle schools; as well as secondary schools.

The constitution of school clusters aims to optimize human and material resources and the equipment existing in schools of Basic and Secondary education. Children are allowed to use, for instance, the school library, gym, playing fields, sciences lab and school canteen.

In these school clusters a common curricular plan is designed for all education levels.