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Slovenia:Early Childhood Education and Care

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Overview Slovenia

Contents

Slovenia:Political, Social and Economic Background and Trends

Slovenia:Historical Development

Slovenia:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Slovenia:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Slovenia:Political and Economic Situation

Slovenia:Organisation and Governance

Slovenia:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Slovenia:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Slovenia:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Slovenia:Organisation of Private Education

Slovenia:National Qualifications Framework

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

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

Slovenia:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Slovenia:Funding in Education

Slovenia:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Slovenia:Higher Education Funding

Slovenia:Adult Education and Training Funding

Slovenia:Early Childhood Education and Care

Slovenia:Organisation of Programmes for all Pre-Primary Education

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

Slovenia:Assessment in Programmes for all Pre-Primary Education

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

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

Slovenia:Organisation of Single Structure Education

Slovenia:Teaching and Learning in Single Structure Education

Slovenia:Assessment in Single Structure Education

Slovenia:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Single Structure Education

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

Slovenia:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Slovenia:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Slovenia:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Slovenia:Organisation of Technical Upper Secondary Education

Slovenia:Teaching and Learning in Technical Upper Secondary Education

Slovenia:Assessment in Technical Upper Secondary Education

Slovenia:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Slovenia:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Slovenia:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Slovenia:Organisation of Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

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

Slovenia:Assessment in Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Slovenia:Higher Education

Slovenia:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Slovenia:First Cycle Programmes

Slovenia:Bachelor

Slovenia:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Slovenia:Second Cycle Programmes

Slovenia:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Slovenia:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Slovenia:Adult Education and Training

Slovenia:Distribution of Responsibilities

Slovenia:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Slovenia:Main Providers

Slovenia:Main Types of Provision

Slovenia:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Slovenia:Teachers and Education Staff

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

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

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

Slovenia:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

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

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

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

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

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

Slovenia:Management and Other Education Staff

Slovenia:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

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

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

Slovenia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Slovenia:Management Staff for Higher Education

Slovenia:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Slovenia:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

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

Slovenia:Quality Assurance

Slovenia:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovenia:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Slovenia:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Slovenia:Educational Support and Guidance

Slovenia:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

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

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

Slovenia:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovenia:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Slovenia:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Slovenia:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Slovenia:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Slovenia:Mobility and Internationalisation

Slovenia:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Slovenia:Mobility in Higher Education

Slovenia:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

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

Slovenia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Slovenia:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Slovenia:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Slovenia:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Slovenia:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Slovenia:National Reforms in School Education

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

Slovenia:National Reforms in Higher Education

Slovenia:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Slovenia:European Perspective

Slovenia:Legislation

Slovenia:Institutions

Slovenia:Glossary

In the period after World War II, kindergartens in Slovenia saw a steady development. The 70s and the 80s brought some important development changes, such as the introduction of the Educational Programme for Education and Care of Pre-School Children (1979) and the Educational Basic School Preparatory Programme for Pre-School Children (1981); higher qualification standards for pre-school teachers and carers; better quality playrooms and teaching aids; an increase in numbers of children enrolled in kindergarten, and the introduction of a mandatory one-year preparatory program for children prior to their enrolment in year one.

In the middle of the 90s, another conceptual and curricular reform of kindergartens took place (White Paper on Education, 1995; Kindergarten Act 1996; Kindergarten Curriculum 1999). Pre-school is regulated by two key acts, the Organization and Financing of Education Act (in Slovene) and the Kindergarten Act (in Slovene). They specify the terms and conditions for establishment, organisation and operation of kindergartens. All public kindergartens and kindergartens holding a concession are required to respect principles, objectives and guidelines stipulated by the Kindergarten Curriculum (in Slovene). In addition, kindergartens in Slovenia are required to observe norms regarding number of children (Rules on standards to conduct pre-school education activities, in Slovene); and relatively strict and very specific regulations on school premises and amenities as regards the health and safety of children (Rules on norms and minimal technical conditions for premises and equipment of pre-school institutions; in Slovene).

Pre-school education in Slovenia is uniform for all children from the age of one to six which coincides with the start of school. Pre-school education is an integral part of the education system. Since 1993, it has been in the domain of the ministry of education which ensures a continuity from pre-school education to basic school education. The government is responsible for the national policy, the legislative framework and the general programme of preschool education. Municipalities establish kindergartens and are responsible for implementation of the preschool education programmes. They must ensure enough places for all children or make call for a concession.

Kindergartens are aimed at children from the age one to the year when they are ready to start school. In addition to full care (care, nutrition), one of the key objectives of kindergartens is to provide every child with high quality and age-appropriate learning and social experiences. Pre-school education complements family care; children acquire experiences and skills that the family environment cannot provide. Considering a very high level of employment of both parents in Slovenia, an important motivation for enrolling children in kindergartens is to have child care for the time when parents are at work. Participation of children in preschool education is not mandatory; it is up to the parents to decide.

Participation of pre-schoolers in public and private kindergartens has increased over the past few years. In 2005/2006 there were 63.6% of children who were enrolled in kindergartens. The number grew higher every year and reached 74% in 2010/2011.

Pre-school education in kindergartens follows the following principles: ­

  • Democracy; ­
  • Pluralism; ­
  • Autonomy and a professional and responsible approach by the staff; ­
  • Equal opportunities for children and parents by taking into account children's diversity;
  • ­ The right to choice and diversity, and ­
  • A balance in various aspects of the child’s physical and mental development.

The principles emanate from the Kindergarten Act (1996; in Slovene). These principles are defined in greater detail and in higher number in the Kindergarten Curriculum (1999; in Slovene).

Pre-school education objectives in kindergartens include: ­

  • Development of ability to understand and accept oneself and others;
  • ­Development of ability to negotiate, respect for diversity and participate in groups;
  • ­Development of ability to recognise emotions and providing encouragement for emotional experiences and expressions; ­
  • Development of curiosity, researching spirit, imagination, intuition and independent thinking;
  • ­Encouragement for linguistic development and effective and creative use of speech, later also reading and writing ­
  • Encouragement to experience artistic works and to express oneself artistically;
  • ­Dissemination of knowledge from different scientific fields and everyday life; ­
  • Encouragement for physical and locomotive development, ­
  • Development of independence in personal hygiene and care for one’s health.

Kindergarten education is provided in two age groups:

  1. ­First age-group: toddlers aged one to three years, and ­
  2. Second age-group: children aged three years to school-age.

In response to parents’ and children’s needs and upon agreement with the local municipality, kindergartens can offer different programmes: full-day, half-day and shorter programmes. These programmes are conducted by pre-school teachers and their assistants. In a special brochure, the kindergarten is required to inform parents of available programmes, their objectives, contents and methods of work. Pedagogical work is conducted in groups. The number of children in a group is laid down by law. Kindergartens or private pre-school teachers can provide early child education and care in a child-care family, or they can organise occasional child-care programmes at home.

The pre-school education curriculum was adopted by the Council of Experts of the Republic of Slovenia for General Education. It is designed as a framework for a full-day programme but also provides support for a half-day and shorter programmes. It includes principles, objectives, developmental features of children, areas of work and suitable contents and activities in specific areas of activity. Teaching staff has the right to autonomously select from the suggested contents, objectives and methods.

Sources

Marjanovič Umek, L.; Kroflič, R.: Predšolska vzgoja v vrtcu v Sodobna pedagogika, št. 3/2009, str. 6–17.

Turnšek, Nada (2007): Nacionalno poročilo za Slovenijo v Eurydice ECEC in Europe – Early Childhood Education and Care in Europe: Tackling Social and Cultural Inequalities (2009).