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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
National reforms in early childhood education and care


14.Ongoing reforms and policy developments

14.1National reforms in early childhood education and care

Last update: 17 June 2022


Pre-school starts to assess the special needs of children

From September 2021, pre-schools are starting to assess whether a child who will start the compulsory education program at the age of five does not have individual special needs, such as the need for the support of a speech therapist, social pedagogue or psychologist. The pre-school teacher will assess the child and the child's parents will be informed of the results.

The assessment methodology is defined by the Cabinet of Ministers Regulation No. 453 “Methodology for Assessing the Special Needs of Learners in Pre-school Educational Institutions” (the Regulation in Latvian language). It should be noted, however, that these are temporary provisions that will remain in force until the end of 2023.

During this time, a new, scientifically based special needs assessment methodology for children aged 1.5 - 6 will be developed, within which teacher training and the development of support materials are also planned. Thus, in the future, it will allow special needs to be assessed in pre-school from the age 1.5.


Early assessment of development and diagnosis of disorders will be provided for all children

On 1 October, the Parliament adopted in final reading amendments to the Law on the Protection of Children's Rights, which provide for early assessment of development and diagnosis of disorders in all children from one and a half to three years of age.

The law stipulates that the state provides all children with an early assessment of development from one and a half to three years of age in order to facilitate the timely recognition of developmental disorders and possible special needs. This requirement is expected to take effect on July 1, 2021.

It is also stipulated that the state and local government must ensure the assessment of special needs of all children at the beginning of compulsory education, and provide individual pedagogical and psychological support measures in state, local government and private educational institutions that meet the child's needs. It is expected that this requirement will enter into force on September 1, 2021.

The assessment of children's needs will help to determine which child may need additional activities or classes that would help him or her to better understand the content of learning, and who needs the help of specialists - speech therapists, psychologists.

These amendments strengthen the responsibility of the state for the timely assessment of development and diagnosis of disorders in all children, both at the age when it is possible to identify and at least partially eliminate various types of developmental disorders, and at the beginning of compulsory education. As explained in the annotation of the amendments, early diagnosis is needed to provide timely support for the child's development. Currently, the regulatory enactments do not provide for a mandatory early assessment of development for all children of pre-school age.


Kick-off conference for new pre-school curriculum

A conference on preschool education issues was held in March by the Skola 2030 team. The aim of the conference was to help prepare for the implementation of the improved curriculum and teaching/learning approach in all pre-school schools in Latvia, before the Cabinet of Ministers “Regulations on the State Pre-school Education Guidelines and Pre-school Education Programmes” come into effect from 1 September 2019. About 600 pre-school teachers from all over Latvia gathered for the conference.

On the day of the conference, the groups had discussions, thematic workshops, and familiarization with the stories of pilot pre-school experiences, led by School2030 experts, heads of pilot preschools and teachers.

The main theme of the conference was the upcoming change in the pre-school and its implementation possibilities, including the role of the teacher, who becomes the driving force and inspirer of the learning process, promoting the aware and active abilities of the child, the basics of understanding about the world and the sciences, the basics of language and preparedness for the primary school, the skills development, socio-emotional learning, environmental significance, social involvement, work organization, and parental involvement.