Log in

Kindergarten Education in Europe

Kindergarten legislation in general
Forms of kindergarten
Kindergarten teachers


Kindergarten legislation in general







Child and youth Services Act (KJHG), §§ 22-26 education of children in day-care centres and crèches

Formal curricula on the level of the federal states (“Bildungspläne”)

A legal right to a place in kindergarten from 3 rd year on

Debate about places for children under age of 3. Since 2005 expansion of the day care for children under 3 (TAG)

kindergarten is a voluntary offer

Federal regulated system

Financing is divided into public funds, receipts from voluntary organisations of youth work and contributions from parents

Contributions from parents are related to their income

The French Speaking Community of Belgium decree of 24/07/1997 defining the priority missions of basic education and secondary education and organising the structures necessary to carrying them out (known as the ‘Missions’ decree)

Kindergartens are organised similar to schools with different classes: 2,5/3 years old is the first year of maternal school; for 4 year olds there is a class called second maternal class; 5 years old children are welcomed in the third year of maternal teaching; sometimes there are mixed age groups

Basic education is free, no direct or indirect enrolment fees

Children at age of
2,5 years by 30 th of September are going visiting nursery school

The nursery and primary educational institutions are managed or subsidised by the French Speaking Community (FSC) of Belgium

There are four kinds of schools: official schools managed by the FSC, official schools managed by the provinces and local authorities, private non-deno-minational schools and private denominational schools

Kindergartens for children aged 0-5 years. With 6 years they start compulsory school

80% of children between 1 and 5 are in kindergartens (61,8% 1-2years old, 92,8% 3-5years old)

Kindergarten Act 2005

Framework plan for the Content and Tasks of Kindergarten (2006) with 7 learning areas for goal-orientated work

The municipalities are the local authorities

Approximately 50% of the kindergartens are private

A strategy plan for raising the competence in the sector, e.g. practice-based research and development research programme

Financed by the state, the municipalities and the parents. Parents part of the total costs: 22-30%

National Agency for Education and the Swedish Education Act (2007)

Curriculum for pre-school (1998) basis for all school plans in Sweden, defines important goals and guidelines)

The municipalities are responsible to provide preschool-places

Every child has the right to a place, independent from the situation of the parents

Age 1-6 “pre-school”, 5/6-7 “pre-school class”

86% of 1-2 year old children are in a pre-school, 91% 3-4 old, 96% 5-6 old

For all 4- and 5 year old children pre-school is universal and free; for children from bilingual backgrounds, a free 3-hour/day kindergarten programme is available from the age of 3 (five days a week).

The municipalities cover the biggest part of the costs

The parental fee covers about 8% from the total costs

In the nineties in Poland pre-school was not a priority for the government. Since 2007 the process of dissemination of preschool education especially in rural areas is progressing. There are a lot of questions how to reform the system

Act on education system 1991
In many regions there are no kindergarten places

Kindergarten is a voluntary offer for 3-5 year old children, parents can decide, in some cases its possible to attend by age of 2,5 years

Since 2004 for 6 year old children a one year pre-school education is obligatory

Amendment to the Act of Education 2007 creates a legal possibility to extend the network of kindergarten institutions for children 3-5, so called alternative forms of pre-school education

The district ensures the education, the community has to establish and manage public kindergartens

Public kindergartens are established by local governments

Public kindergarten conducts free education only in the scope of program basis of pre-school education. The parents pay some of the allocations on account of functioning of an institution, including alimentation of children while they stay in the kindergarten. Community council fixes the sum

In non-public kindergartens the amount of money for using different services is fixed by the organ managing the kindergarten

Not compulsory but much frequented (in the North almost the 100% of the children). It can be state, equal or private. In the premises of public kindergartens belong to the council. The council is responsible also for meals and transportation of the children .
The public kindergartens are free of charge

All families are allowed to register their children between 3 and 6 years but there are some waiting lists


Forms of kindergartens

Half-day group “classic” kindergarten

Kindergarten with extended opening times

All-day institutions

Child minder for children between 0 and 3

Special kindergartens for mentally or physically disabled children

Freinet schools

Positive discrimination schools (children from immigrant backgrounds or who come from so-called ‘disadvantaged’ backgrounds)

Schools for children with special needs (for autistic children, children with behavioural problems, mentally handicapped pupils, blind children)

Kindergartens for Sámi children (an indigenous group in Northern Norway)

Opening times from 7 to 17

A lot of different forms like nature kindergartens, Montessori, Reggio

Municipally run pre-schools

Different kinds of private pre-schools but only after control from the municipality (like nature kindergartens, Montessori)

Special pre-schools for children with disabilities

2 organisational forms: in kindergarten departments in the kindergarten or in primary school

In kindergarten there are children between 3 & 6 and is an independent organisation supporting education in family

In primary schools there is a simpler form of kindergarten nursery; here are mainly 6 year old children

Large diversity of kindergarten institutions, often kindergartens have a educational profile, e.g. language, music

most of the kindergartens are not equipped for after-lunch sleep

Opening hours from 8/8.30 to 16/16.30

There are "nests" for children as of 3 years


Kindergarten teachers


Training: graduated from a secondary school or have passed an equivalent examination. The training in colleges for social pedagogy or social sciences takes 4 or 5 years. The students have to do an internship.

Training on academic level (Universities) since 2005, but not obligatory: Bachelor of Arts in “Early childhood Education”

Profession: childcare workers (64%), nursery nurses (12,5%), social workers (2,2%)

Training: “qualified teachers” study 3 years including supervised training schemes and practical training.

Profession: qualified maternal school teachers, primary school teachers (high schools), people who supervise the midday period

Training: trained preschool teachers have 3 years university with bachelor degree. Practice learning lasts for totally twenty weeks during the three years. There is two weeks practice in primary school – first level.

Profession: 30% trained pre-school teachers

Training: pre-school educators have a 3,5 year university study, childminders have a 3 year upper secondary training certificate.

Profession: pre-school educators (50%) and childminders (50%)

(only 2-3% of the personnel are men)

Training: diploma, bachelor or master of higher education institution and professional qualifications including teaching certificates

Profession: start as trainee-teacher and ending as appointee teacher; teachers of pre-school education have the lowest status, even they have the same education

Training: For some years the degree in "sciences of the primary formation" has been necessary. At present most teachers in service still have a master diploma (secondary 4 year school)




No national standard group size and adult-child ratios

25 children in one group (differences between the federal states)

1 qualified pedagogical employee (“Educator” or “early Childhood Teacher”) and 1 qualified assistant for up to 24 children

Groups with children with different ages, between 3 and 6 years

24 periods per 50 minutes for qualified teachers, 2 period to physical education courses

There are two kinds of teachers: a qualified teacher for education and an “adaptation-teacher” responsible to support pupils with difficulties. He is responsible for one or more schools

Between 8 and 25 children for one teacher

The pupil timetable must include 28 weekly periods of 50 minutes divided into nine half-days from Monday morning to Friday evening.

1 pedagogical leader per 6-9 children under the age of 3, 1 for 14-18 children over the age of three

3 educators for one group, one has to be kindergarten teacher, the others are assistants

No national standard group size and adult-child ratios, vary between the municipalities

17 children in one group

5-6 children per adult

The opening times are according to the needs of the parents in the municipalities

The basic organisational unit in the kindergarten is kindergarten department

No age-related groups

max. 25 children per 1 group

Maximum 28 children per class. One teacher for 28 children. For about 2 hours a day, two teachers work together

24 periods per 60 minutes for qualified teachers, 2 periods of physical education courses

Mixed age groups, from 3 to 6 years or groups with same age (it depends on the school)






Integrative institutions for children with special needs

Or: specific institutions for children with special needs

Gender-/sex-specific pedagogy and intercultural work depends on the particular areas and conception of the kindergarten

Children with a foreign nationality can have a teaching language adaptation course

Special need schools

No specific law concerning sexual or gender matters

High relevance in the Norwegian pre-school system

Very integrative pre-school system with no or little categorisation of children (only for children with severe special needs)

High relevance in the school system and in the curriculum

A very integrative system, no categorisation of children

Integrative kindergartens

6 year old children with special educational needs have the right to an individual one-year kindergarten preparation

Bilingual kindergarten for children with another

Integrative kindergartensl, with support to children speaking foreign languages. For children with disabilities there is a teacher support and in serious cases an educator from the municipality



About NVE
Project Support