Better provision for Norway's children in ECEC: A study of children's wellbeing and development in ECEC, and new tool for Quality Evaluation

Prosjektperiode: 01/10/2012 - 31/12/2017

Institusjon: Norsk institutt for forskning om oppvekst, velferd og aldring

Prosjektleder: Lars Gulbrandsen

Program: Norsk utd.forskn.2009-2018

Sammendrag

The study is about the quality of ECEC on children's learning, social, emotional and cognitive development and wellbeing, with a focus on the younger ones, and on marginalized children, in relation to the Framework Plan. The task is also to develop a new National Quality Evaluation tool. - The challenge is to design a coherent and effective research design, built on international knowledge and transform these experiences into research that is rooted in the ECEC context in Norway, and in the most recent re search on young children. - Central to the proposal is a longitudinal study of 1600 children in 80 ECEC centers. The study will establish the quality of the 80 centers for learning, development and wellbeing; i.e. to what extent do children in a specific center develop allowing for child and family background. The quality of centers will be linked with data on the center and municipality characteristics (staff, qualifications, management, leadership, ratios, group size, etc.). Staff composition, education al level and turnover are important factors. - Development of a National Quality Evaluation tool informing about the quality of ECEC in Norway is important and will start in existing instruments like the Dutch NCKO. - Case studies of 10 centers, starting when children are 2 years of age, will explore the processes that differentiate high quality centers from from moderate ones. The relation between staff resources, structure, pedagogical processes and children's learning is important. - The results and t he new national evaluation tool will support a science-based ECEC policy, and the understanding of the variation in ECEC and how this contributes to variation in outcomes for different children. Evidence could guide future improvements to ECEC, such as th e development of the National Framework plan, or Preschool teacher education. Such knowledge is important for decisions on the optimal composition of a peer group; child:staff ratio; staff education etc.