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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Early Childhood Education and Care

Chapter Topics

Chapter Topics

Early Childhood Education and Care

National organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) provision varies greatly from country to country and for this reason the structure of articles for this topic varies.



 The steps taken to ensure optimal provision for children who live in less populated areas.

Admission requirements and choice of ECEC institution

 E.g. age, maturity or other criteria for admission to the ECEC provision concerned.

Age levels and grouping of children

 What age children start and finish the ECEC provision concerned.

Organisation of time

 E.g. the minimum core guidelines or recommendations in the legislation or official regulations regarding the structure of the annual timetable.

Organisation of the day and week

E.g. the opening hours of the institutions and the typical structure of daily activities.

Teaching and learning

Steering documents and types of activities:

•    An overview of which kind of documents exist to guide institutions offering ECEC is provided e. g. an educational plan, a curriculum and/or guidelines

•    The bodies/persons involved in their preparation

•    The date at which the currently operational documents came into effect

•    If central guidelines exist the titles of the various subjects/activities

Teaching methods and materials:

•    Whether ECEC staff is free to choose the teaching methodology

•    Information of the implementation of major methodological guidelines for the organisation of activities

•    Whether teaching materials are available for children and staff


This section explains whether or not there is a formal evaluation system in place with regard to ECEC and how the progress of children is measured.

If a formal system exists, the main purposes of evaluation and the main elements assessed are explained.

Organisational variations and alternative structures

In case of less common or unusual variations in public-sector ECEC provision (for example, in rural areas, experimental ECEC institutions, etc.), details are provided in this section which presents the general objectives of these alternative structures, their admission criteria, programme of activities and methodological emphasis, etc.