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ERIC Number: EJ856478
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1350-293X
New Developments
Lohmander, Maelis Karlson; Vandenbroeck, Michel; Pirard, Florence; Peeters, Jan; Alvestad, Marit
European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, v17 n3 p407-424 Sep 2009
New developments and challenges regarding early childhood education (ECE) policy and practice in Norway and in the Flemish and French communities in Belgium are presented in this issue. There are clear differences between the countries when comparing systems they have chosen for ECE. In Belgium, supervision and responsibilities for education, welfare and culture have been given to the communities. As a result, there are also differences between the two Belgian regions. Norway has an integrated system of services for children between the ages of one and five, and this is publicly funded by the state and the municipalities. In contrast, Belgium has a split system between care and education and between services provided for the under three's and for children who are older than three. Childcare for children from zero to three is under the auspices of the Ministry for Welfare, while children over three years of age attend kindergarten centres, which come under the responsibility of the Ministry of Education. In spite of the differences between Belgian and Norway, there are also similarities. In both countries, ECE has a clear economic function, in that childcare services enable both men and women to combine parenthood with participation in the labour force, thus promoting equality. The two countries also face similar challenges. One of these challenges is related to the qualifications of the workforce; professionalisation issues are of major concern. The number of educated pre-school teachers in the Norwegian kindergartens needs to be increased, as do the educational qualifications of childcare assistants. Similarly, both the Flemish and the French Belgian communities share a concern over the seemingly low level of qualifications of childcare assistants. In addition, there are concerns that the education offered to those who work as managers of childcare centres is not really preparing them for the challenges in the field. These issues corroborate the conclusions and claims made by many researchers: there is a clear relationship between quality of ECE and the education and qualifications of professionals working in the field. (Contains 1 table and 3 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium; Norway