Better provision of Norway’s Children in Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) was the first major study in Norway to focus specifically on the quality and effectiveness of ECEC.
The study was intended to explore the characteristics and quality of different kinds of early years provision and the impact various types of settings have on children’s wellbeing, attainment, progress and development.
The project was based on The Ministry of Education and Research’s demand to develop research-based knowledge on Norwegian Early Childhood Education and Care where enrollment starts at an early age and children can have long days in the institutions. The Ministry aims at understanding the relations between educational and psychological processes and structural variables, with a focus on the staff-child and child-child relations, both for mainstream and marginalized children.
The project had the ambition to focus on three fields:
- Knowledge on ECEC quality in Norway
- Which is the effect of ECEC of varying quality on children’s wellbeing and social, emotional and cognitive development?
- Develop a research-based tool for the national evaluation of process quality in ECEC
What are the relations between structure and organization, pedagogical processes, wellbeing and children’s development and
learning? How can quality be considered in an appropriate and practically relevant way?
The aim of the study was to explore:
- 1600 children’s career paths in 80 day-care centres (barnehager) with different organization, from a wide range of social and cultural backgrounds – from young children to older children groups.
- How ECEC quality promotes children’s learning, social, emotional and cognitive development and wellbeing with a focus on marginalized children, and in relation to the Framework Plan with a special focus on play and everyday activities, mathematics, language, science, and aesthetic subjects.
- How the characteristics of Norwegian ECEC pedagogy differ in high and moderate quality centres before, during and after change of child-staff ratio the year the children are 3 years old.
- Children’s development and learning progresses.
- Develop a national quality evaluation tool adapted to the Norwegian context of already existing instrument/tools (ITERS/ECERS-R and E, NCKO).
Relevance to society
Research stresses the importance of good quality of day-care for children’s wellbeing and development. Our project will contribute to enhance the quality in Norwegian day-care centres so we can give all children maximal conditions for learning and development. The project also aims to give the practitioners self-evaluating monitors to maintain a high level of quality in everyday life in daycare centres, based on structural, process and content quality.
The project was a national and international collaboration project with researchers from different research institutions:
- Oslo Metropolitan University (OsloMet)
- Norwegian Social Research (NOVA)
- University of Stavanger (UiS)
- University of South-Eastern Norway
- Nord University
- Birkbeck University
- Practitioners and students within the field of ECEC