Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) is for children under school age. Municipalities are responsible for the development and supervision of both private and municipal institutions and for ensuring that institutions are run according to the Framework Plan and the Kindergarden act.
ECEC institutions are generally referred to as kindergartens. In Norwegian they are called "barnehage".
The system for quality in the ECEC shall give all Kindergarten stakeholders a foundation to evaluate and develop the quality within their responsibilities.
The system provides Kindergartens with tools to evaluate and reflect upon their pedagogical practices.
According to the Framework Plan, Kindergartens are to carry out internal quality assessments. The well-being and development of groups of children and individual children have to be observed and assessed on an ongoing basis.
The quality system for ECEC consists of
- different optional quality development tools
- resources such as research and statistics that the different stakeholders are free to use
These are available to Kindergartens, owners, local and national authorities. The system provides information about Kindergartens available to parents and other interested stakeholders and can contribute to dialogue and quality development.
Framework Plan for Kindergartens
The Kindergarten Act instructs the Ministry of Education to lay down a framework for the operation of the Kindergarten. The Framework Plan for the Content and Tasks of Kindergartens states the fundamental principles, goals, contents and activities for all kindergartens, both public and private.
All kindergartens shall adopt the core values set out in the Kindergarten Act and in international treaties ratified by Norway such as the UN Convention of 20 November 1989 on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention (ILO Convention 169).
Kindergartens shall work in partnership and agreement with the home to meet the children’s need for care and play, and they shall promote learning and formative development as a basis for all-round development. Play, care, learning and formative development shall be seen in context.
The core values of kindergartens shall be promulgated, practised and manifested in every aspect of a kindergarten’s pedagogical practices. Childhood has intrinsic value, and kindergartens shall take a holistic approach regarding child development. Meeting every child’s need for care, security, belongingness and respect and enabling the children to participate in and contribute to the community are important values that shall be reflected in kindergarten. Kindergartens shall promote democracy, diversity and mutual respect, equality, sustainable development, life skills and good health.
The Framework Plan also describes 7 learning areas. The Kindergartens shall view the learning areas in context and all learning areas shall be recurring themes in kindergarten content. In Sami kindergartens the learning areas shall be based on Sami language, culture and traditions. The core values and objectives of kindergartens shall set the agenda for and influence the learning areas, and the children’s right to participate shall be observed. Play is an important building block in the different learning areas. Kindergartens shall build on the children’s enthusiasm and contributions so that the learning areas come to be seen as a meaningful and fun part of kindergarten life.
Point of View-analysis / The Status Analysis (Ståstedsanalysen for barnehage):
A tool for reflection and process, for kindergartens that wish to discuss and assess the quality of their practice as a basis for joint improvement and quality work. The analysis is based on the Kindergarten Act and the Framework Plan for the Content and Tasks of Kindergartens 2017.
Vetuva is a printed and digital magazine for people working in and with kindergartens. It contains articles about Scandinavian research on kindergartens and is released once a year. The ECEC-NB gathers quality-assured Scandinavian research on 0-6 year-old children in early childhood education and care. This database is for students, researchers, professionals within pedagogy and educational managers. The research has been peer-reviewed in accordance with international standards by a Scandinavian panel of researchers.
The facts on kindergartens is an online site that presents relevant and reliable information about Norwegian kindergartens and is primarily aimed at parents who want to orient themselves in what kindergarten to choose before applying for a place for their child.
In the Parental survey, parents and guardians may express their opinion about the kindergarten facilities, the well-being of the children and the cooperation between the home and the kindergarten.
RefLex is an online tool designed to help kindergartens, kindergarten owners and local authorities determine whether their practices are in line with the Kindergarten Act.